This healthy spring time vegetable includes poached asparagus with a creamy, cheese-like sauce that's completely vegan and filled with healthy cauliflower and cashews.
You've heard it before, but don't slap me for saying it again. I love living in California. We have great weather all year around and we have access to amazing fresh, local produce everyday. Shopping at the farmer's market is my weekly, sometimes twice weekly, ritual that I look forward to for purchasing all of my fresh ingredients. During a recent farmer's market visit, I was very happy to see the arrival of long, lean, green asparagus stalks. It's spring, Easter is almost here, so I decided to create a recipe for asparagus with a vegan cream sauce that's loaded with local veggies and nuts.
Yes, not only do I get farm-grown vegetables here in California, but I also get great nuts, and not just the one's you meet waiting in line for your latte at Starbuck's. Did you know that this state is responsible for growing nearly half of the fruits, nuts and veggies produced in this country? This drought we're experiencing isn't helping things, but the ranching community is pulling out all of the stops to come up with innovative ways to use water so we can all continue to eat the food we're accustomed. You can learn more about the local farming and ranching practices here by checking out Cultivate California’s website. So go hug some CA farmers because they're likely helping to feed you and your family, even if you don't live in my lovely state.
With my California fresh asparagus in hand I went about building a healthy side dish for Spring with a few more local ingredients. I created a creamy sauce for the asparagus using another veggie heavy-weight, cauliflower, and I added some cashews for creaminess, while lemon, onions and garlic all helped spice things up.
This asparagus with cauliflower cashew cream is my ode to spring time produce and to the California farmers who help produce it.
Asparagus with Cauliflower Cashew Cream
Serves 4 as a side
- 1 bunch of asparagus, tough ends removed
- 1/2 head of medium cauliflower, equal to 1 cup of cauliflower "rice"
- 1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup onions, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup of vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked in water 3 hours or overnight
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional for a cheesy flavor)
- Salt to taste
- Remove the core and outer leaves from the cauliflower. Cut into pieces and place in a food processor to make a cauliflower "rice."
- Place the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and sauté 3-5 minutes until translucent, then add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Take one cup of the cauliflower rice and combine with the onion and garlic mixture. Stir for 1-2 minutes, then add the broth. Allow the broth to cook the cauliflower, about 5 minutes, or until soft.
- Put the cauliflower mixture into a blender along with the cashews, lemon juice and nutritional yeast. Add more broth or water to achieve desired consistency and salt to taste.
- Meanwhile fill a large saucepan with 1-2" of salted water and bring to a boil. Add asparagus and cook over medium heat until al dente, about 2-3 minutes. Drain, dry and plate. Drizzle the cashew cream sauce over and top with fresh herbs or nuts.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.