Warm Spring Salad



Behold, non-wimpy asparagus!


Normally I don’t consider asparagus to be one of the most exciting vegetables, but it always surprises me every time I make it. I enjoy it way more than I think I do. A simple, light sauté leaves it tender, but still crisp and fresh. I find it turns out best when I cook it a bit less time than I think I should. Less is more with this guy! I’ve made the mistake of cooking the hell out of it in the past and it’s something I try not to repeat.

A few notes about asparagus:

  • Look for firm spears that don’t bend easily. Asparagus doesn’t tend to last very long, so it’s best consumed within 48 hours of purchasing. When you bring it home, wrap the stems in a damp paper towel to extend freshness.
  • Asparagus may aid in digestion thanks to its inulin content which is said to function as a “prebiotic”
  • In 1 cup of raw asparagus you’ll receive Vitamin K (69.6% Daily Value), Vitamin A (20.2% DV), Folate (17.4% DV), Iron (15.7% DV), Vitamin B1 (12.6% DV), Vitamin C (12.5% DV), 3 grams protein, 2.75 grams fibre, and more.
  • It can act as a diuretic causing you to lose more fluid than normal. Be sure to get enough water throughout the day.
  • Asparagus is anti-inflammatory thanks to its large composition of anti-inflammatory nutrients.
  • Source: World’s Healthiest Foods


Since spring produce seems to be picking up speed around here, I’m celebrating my first spring recipe of the season today – a warm spring salad featuring asparagus, leek, peas, strawberries, and lots of parsley all tossed in a simple lemon olive oil dressing. Easy, light, and super refreshing. If you’d like to add even more protein than what the quinoa + veggies provide I’m sure it would be nice with some white beans, chickpeas, or French lentils thrown in too. Eric also suggested we sprinkle some seeds on top – pumpkin and hemp – and that was a very nice addition!

Keep in mind that the strawberries will turn the quinoa a pinkish hue once tossed. If this is a concern or if you are making this in advance, I suggest adding the strawberries on just before serving.

Cheers to crunchy, fresh spring salads!

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Warm Spring Salad

Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free

Email, text, or print this recipe

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (or try speltberries, but note they are not GF)
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced into rounds or half moons
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends broken off and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup diced strawberries (optional)
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or other sweetener)
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt & lots of pepper, to taste
  • lemon zest, for garnish


1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and place into a medium pot. Add 1.5 cups vegetable broth (or water) and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low-medium, cover with tight-fitting lid, and cook for 15-17 minutes, or until fluffy and all the water is absorbed. Fluff with fork, remove from heat, and let sit covered for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, grab a very large skillet or wok. Sauté the leek and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add in the asparagus and sauté for another 5-10 minutes or until the asparagus is just tender, but still a bit crisp. Stir in the strawberries (optional), peas, and parsley. Heat for a few minutes and then remove from heat.

3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, and 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt) to taste. Pour dressing onto skillet mixture and stir in the cooked quinoa. Season to taste with salt and pepper & enjoy! This would also be lovely with nuts or seeds sprinkled on top.

Nutritional Info

Oh, I forgot to mention – this is also fantastic served cold too!

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{ 132 comments… read them below or add one }

LisaR @ Who Stole My Baby? April 15, 2013

Ooh, this looks great! I think I have all of these ingredients too. They were meant for other recipes, but who cares about that.


Christine April 15, 2013

This looks delicious, Angela. I have snow peas in the fridge, so I’m going to use those. I also have green onions, not sure if they can be a substitute for leeks but hope so!

I made your black bean and potato nachos over the weekend and used a cilantro pepper cashew cream sauce. They went over very well!!!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 15, 2013

Green onions would be a great sub.
So glad the potato nachos turned out for you! Thanks for letting me know :)


Tanya @ playful and hungry April 20, 2013

Adding green onions is a great idea, actually! =)


Alexandra @ Lean Green Healthy Machine April 15, 2013

I can’t wait for asparagus and strawberries to make an appearance at my farmers market. I’m ready for spring recipes and this definitely makes the list!


Kim @ Cooking in the City April 15, 2013

This is perfect and so timely! My boyfriend had the world’s most pathetic asparagus salad this weekend (literally- lettuce and a few spears) and I’d love to redeem the veggie with a more worthy salad this week. Thanks!


Liz April 15, 2013

Love this recipe, especially since it is really not warm at all yet, but also not below freezing either! Love the colours!


Anele @ Success Along the Weigh April 15, 2013

This looks INSANELY good! I just happen to have some fresh asparagus that I was going to pair with roasted garlic but I’m kind rethinking that now!


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table April 15, 2013

The last 1-2 weeks leading up to figure competitions, the only veggie I can have is asparagus. You can imagine the smell… LOL! But it’s a high-protein veggie and a diuretic, so it’s like body building super food.

It kind of ruined it for me outside of those couple of weeks, but this combo looks too good not to try! I love the leek + strawberry combo.


Sarah @ Yogi in Action April 15, 2013

This looks fantastic! I have some asparagus sitting in my fridge right now (that’s definitely been there longer than 48 hours) so I might just have to switch up my plan and make this for dinner.

Thanks for a delicious looking recipe :)


Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} April 15, 2013

Such a photogenic salad :) I will try this one for sure!


Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} April 15, 2013

I love the photography for this post! It just so happens that I bought strawberries, peas and asparagus as part of my weekly grocery trip yesterday and it is leek season where I live. Looks like this salad will be my lunch at some point in the very near future!


Susan April 15, 2013

I always look forward to your posts, Angela. Your ‘go-to kale salad’ is a favourite in our home. I really appreciate the mix of flavors and ingredients I would normally not try myself. I will be making this one…


Ali April 15, 2013

So…I’m guessing the asparagus I ate last night that I bought in March probably wasn’t the best idea? I hate wasting food and I found them at the bottom of my produce drawer in the fridge so I just at the still intact tips but they were a bit wimpy. :)


Laura Thomas April 15, 2013

I have always been a tad scared of Asparagus so thank you for the useful tips, you make it slightly less intimidating. I think I’ll have to give it a go!


Linnéa April 15, 2013

Lovely photography in this post!
I will save this recipe for when the strawberries are in season here in Sweden. Shouldn’t be more than a couple of months away now… oh, summer, please arrive soon!


Katy @ Katy's Kitchen April 15, 2013

This is a beautiful salad with so much colour. I bet those leeks give it such a nice fresh taste. You’re lucky spring is picking up in your area, there’s a snowstorm happening outside my window right now! I need this salad to make me think of spring. :)


Ethan April 15, 2013

The salad looks really delicious. I love all the ingredients you used and will definitely try this very soon :)


Jesse (OutToLunchCreations) April 15, 2013

This looks delicious! I love asparagus, its a sure sign that spring is here. I really like the idea of combining it with strawberries and peas to give it a spring feel.


Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl April 15, 2013

I absolutely love salads with strawberries and quinoa, but I’ve never tried asparagus in my salad. Can’t wait to give this a try! By the way, the pictures are gorgeous!


Abby @ The Frosted Vegan April 15, 2013

Love warm salads! Especially for this weird in-between weather we have going on!


McKel | Nutrition Stripped April 15, 2013

Such a great spring recipe! I love the combination of citrus, sweet and savory/bitter from the asparagus. I’ll have to try this one out. Thanks for sharing Angela :)


Reba Cox April 15, 2013

Your pictures are beyond beautiful. I just bought a bunch of asparagus last night. Its one of my fav quick cook veggies.


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 15, 2013

Yes, please! So perfect for spring!


Kathy @ FoodWineThyme April 15, 2013

What a beautiful looking salad. I’m going to make this tonight for dinner


Teresa Valentina B. April 15, 2013

Thank you so much for that recipe! The pictures are absolutely beautiful, better than in cook books! Keep up the good work, that inspires me so much!
Lots of Love, Teresa Valentina


Shannan April 15, 2013

This looks awesome!! I can’t wait to try it out.


Charlotte April 15, 2013

I always love your recipes but these pictures are just amazing!


Christa @ Edible Balance April 15, 2013

Gorgeous, gorgeous salad! I am loving warm salads lately, spring still has not shown it’s lovely face yet! The combination of strawberries and asparagus… YUM!


Lillian @Seize the Latte April 15, 2013

Oh, this sounds delicious! I love asparagus — my dad and I both think it’s the cat’s pajamas even though our respective spouses beg to differ — and I love the idea of combining it with strawberries, quinoa, and lemon (which are, incidentally, some of my other favorite foods). What a divine combination! :)


kris April 15, 2013

Strawberries in salads is one of my new favorite things! This looks delish!


Christine @ Gotta Eat Green April 15, 2013

The perfect spring salad for this sunny afternoon!


The Vegan Cookie Fairy April 15, 2013

Looks great, I must try this!


julie@thesimpleveganista April 15, 2013

Oh, I am so in love with this! Beautiful and perfect. :)


Beth @ Tasty Yummies April 15, 2013

Beautiful photos!!! This salad looks incredible. I cannot wait to make it.


Alex @ Delicious-Knowledge.com April 15, 2013

Yum! It must be asparagus salad season. Yours is the fourth recipe I’ve seen this morning using asparagus and strawberries in a salad! Must be a great combo for a reason. This looks so refreshing! Will have to make it soon.


Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat April 15, 2013

This looks and sounds wonderful!!


Shanda Bezzant April 15, 2013

Yum!! Just made this for lunch and had it over a bed of spinach. I didn’t have any leeks but I thought they were green onions in the picture anyhow and it still tasted great. Yummy warm spring salad since we got a few inches of snow today!


Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health April 15, 2013

I don’t think I’ve ever came by your blog and saw something that didn’t look amazing. This looks delicious and perfect for spring! I wish I had some for lunch! Yum!


Laura April 15, 2013

So much green color! Perfect to raise our excitement for summer!


jackie April 15, 2013

Looks incredible Angela. So simple, yet full of nutrients. Definitely a hearty salad that would be great as a leftover for lunches. Great post : )


Averie @ Averie Cooks April 15, 2013

Love asparagus. Have some in the fridge.
Love the Anthro plate. Have some in my prop closet.
What a pretty, green, lovely spring salad!


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