red cabbage with roasted asparagus and light pesto dressing: one deliciously {healthy} salad!

when i was growing up my mom used quite a lot of cabbage in her cooking. i remember entering the house and knowing immediately there was cabbage involved with our meal because of the distinct odor it created as it cooked. although it was not a particularly pleasant smell, it somehow created a comforting welcome home feeling i think of fondly. my mom made delicious stuffed cabbage two ways (sweet and savory), spicy borscht soups (which reminds me i need to ask for the recipe and post soon), vegetable stir fries with chunks of almost raw crunchy cabbage, creamy cole slaws, and one of my favorites, red cabbage salad. at the time i doubt we realized how good this vegetable (in all of its forms) is for you-particularly when consumed raw or lightly steamed (good article on health benefits). as we leave winter behind and move towards the warmth and {fresh produce} abundance of summer, i find myself craving lighter, healthier meals that require less cooking. this salad combines leftover oven roasted asparagus with {good for you} shredded red cabbage, diced red bell peppers, flat leaf parsley and avocados covered in a light pesto dressing. it was on the menu last night along with my oven baked chicken, and i can comfortably say that beyond packing incredible flavor, it is also very good for you-this will surely be a staple at our spring/summer table.
in your salad bowl combine:
  • thinly shredded red cabbage
  • sliced avocados
  • sliced tomatoes
  • sliced red bell peppers
  • small bunch of chopped flat leaf parsley
  • oven roasted asparagus (cut in smaller pieces)
  • for light pesto dressing:
  • 1 large bunch (1 cup or more) of fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 clove of garlic (optional)
  • 1/4 cup or so extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
blend it all together in a food processor or blender OR use this homemade lemony pesto if you have it, and add a few tbs of lemon juice and olive oil to thin it out. you will have dressing leftover-refrigerate for later use.
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