I have admitted it before: I don’t like spring and summer. And many allergics might nod their head now in silent agreement. But there is one thing I am looking forward to whenever the temperatures go up: an abundance of fresh, ripe and delicious vegetables. And this veggie packed spring bowl will definitely bring a delicious garden of healthy greens to your plates.
And the best part? All those veggies are topped by crispy halloumi cheese (or tofu for a vegan version), walnuts and a wild-garlic dressing with lemon and ground almonds. If you haven’t heard of wild garlic yet, you are certainly missing out. But fret not, this veggie packed spring bowl is your chance of getting to know this awesome superfood.
Ramson / wild garlic
Wild garlic – also known as ramson or bear’s garlic, depending on where you live – doesn’t come in bulbs or cloves. It comes in elegant, deep green leaves with a heavenly scent. The plant is also known for its antiseptic, antibacterial and antibiotic properties and is even considered to lower blood pressure. It doesn’t get any better than that? Oh, it does! Because its aromatic flavour – that faintly resembles the garlic you know and possibly love – is perfect for breads, dips, pestos and many other things. You see, I could gush for hours, and there will be more posts about the many benefits and uses of wild garlic in the future. So consider this a sneak peek of things to come.
Wild Garlic Paste
This recipe requires a wild garlic/ramson paste. It’s vegan, very easy to make and I make sure to always have some in the freezer during the spring and summer months. To make ramson paste, you need to wash the leaves of wild garlic thoroughly and cut off the stems. Then blend about 40-50g of the ramson together with 2-3 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper, until it forms a smooth, spreadable paste. You can freeze the wild garlic / ramson paste in ice cube trays in little portions for about 4-6 months. It’s a delicious dip on its own, can be used as a sandwich spread or to flavour dressings like the one you will need here.
a spring bowl packed with superfoods
But wild garlic isn’t the only plant that makes this veggie packed spring bowl so healthy. Superfoods like spinach, asparagus and walnuts boost your immune system and health after the cold winter months.
You can easily adapt this spring bowl to your dietary requirements and preferences. For a low carb version, simply serve the veggie-packed spring bowl without the rice. And if you live vegan, the halloumi cheese can easily be replaced by tofu of your choice. I would recommend to marinate the tofu in soy sauce before frying it, though.
(yields 2 really big portions)
For the spring bowl
- 3/4 cups (about 120g) basmati rice
- 1 tbsp (about 10g) black rice
- 250g asparagus
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves (or lettuce)
- 1/2 of a large cucumber
- 8-10 red radishes
- 4 tbsp crushed walnuts
- 1 avocado (optional)
- 1 green onion, cut into fine rings
- 200g halloumi cheese (or marinated tofu for a vegan version)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
For the dressing
- juice of one lemon
- 2 tbsp wild garlic paste (see instructions above)
- 2 tbsp ground almonds
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- sweetener of choice to taste (honey, stevia or maple syrup work well)
Cook your rice according to the instructions on the package. Usually, it takes two cups of salted water per one cup of rice to get a good result. I use my rice cooker, but an ordinary pot will do just as fine.
For the spring bowl dressing, fill the lemon juice, ramson paste, water, two tablespoons of olive oil and ground almonds in a mason jar and shake very well. Use salt, pepper and sweetener to taste. Then shake again and set aside.
Wash and clean your vegetables. After that, cut the red radishes, your cucumber and green onion in fine slices. Remove the pit and skin of your avocado and cut it in slices, as well.
Wash your spinach leaves or lettuce. If desired, cut the lettuce into smaller pieces.
In a pan, heat the leftover olive oil. Wash and clean the asparagus and fry them in the hot oil for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Then add the halloumi cheese or marinated tofu. At last, add the cut avocado to the pan and fry everything until the asparagus is browned and the halloumi cheese (or tofu) is crispy. Salt to taste.
Now you only have to assemble your veggie packed spring bowls! Fill two bowls with rice. Then top the rice with one half of the cucumber and red radish slices and the spinach leaves or lettuce. Add the avocado and one half of the asparagus and halloumi / tofu to each bowl. Drizzle with your wild garlic dressing and sprinkle with crushed walnuts and green onion rings.
Enjoy your veggie packed spring bowl while the asparagus and rice are still warm.
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