Spring Salad (Easter Salad Idea or Mother’s Day)
This Spring salad is loaded with delicious seasonal ingredients including asparagus, snap peas, prosciutto and cheese. Topped with a deviled egg dressing, it’s perfect as an Easter salad or for Mother’s Day brunch.
Salads for specific holidays are becoming something of a theme around here. It all started with my Thanksgiving salad, which Google liked enough to put it at the top of it’s search results, meaning lots and lots of people make this salad each year for their holiday dinner, and that makes me so happy.
From there, I expanded into Thanksgiving fruit salad, which was also popular. And then I tried my hand at Christmas salad and Christmas fruit salad.
So, it makes sense that today I’m back with, you guessed it – Easter Salad (I did Easter fruit salad also, of course). Serve this with ham with pineapple sauce and Greek yogurt mashed potatoes with homemade gravy for my idea of a perfect Easter feast.
Although, just like all of my holiday salads, it certainly isn’t meant to ONLY be enjoyed on that specific holiday.
Like my fried goat cheese salad, think of this more like a Spring salad idea that you can enjoy any time you want this season. It’d also be right at home on a Mother’s Day brunch menu, alongside oven bacon and vegetarian quiche.
What produce do I need for this Easter salad recipe?
- asparagus – you’ll need one bunch of fresh asparagus for this salad recipe for Easter. Trim the woody ends before you start. Balsamic asparagus is another one of my favorite ways to serve this Spring vegetable.
- parsley – about 1 cup of fresh parsley leaves will do it for this Spring salad recipe. Leftover parsley stems can be used to make the sauce and marinade for lamb lollipops for dinner.
- snap peas – you will need a half pound (8 ounces) of fresh sugar snap peas. I also love these served alongside bourbon glazed salmon.
- shallot – one small shallot, which you’ll peel and cut into rings.
- hard boiled egg whites – you’ll use hard boiled egg yolks to make the deviled egg dressing, so might as well slice up the whites and put them in the salad, too! The eggs make this a perfect brunch salad.
- prosciutto – you will need 2 ounces of thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into bite-sizes pieces for this Easter salad recipe. Perhaps buy a little extra and make jarcuterie or an Easter charcuterie board as an appetizer, or prosciutto sandwiches for lunch this week?
- Pecorino Romano cheese – you can’t beat the sharp bite of this special cheese, although if you cannot find it, high quality shaved Parmesan cheese is a fine substitute. Either are amazing grated over mini Hasselback potatoes, too!
- lemon zest – some ribbons of fresh lemon zest add a nice brightness to this salad (lemon lovers, check out my lemon pancakes and lemon smoothie as well!).
How to blanch asparagus and snap peas for this Spring salad recipe:
For this Easter salad recipe, we will be blanching (quickly boiling) and shocking (cooling down in ice water) the asparagus and snap peas. This is easy to do! BHG has a nice video about blanching vegetables if you’d prefer visual cues.
First, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water and place that right next to the stove.
Drop the asparagus into the boiling water and cook until it’s bright green and JUST tender. Depending on the thickness of your stalks of asparagus, this may take anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes.
Use a paring knife to pierce the thickest part of the asparagus stalks to check for tenderness. When the asparagus is just tender, immediately transfer it to the bowl of ice water.
Repeat the same process with the snap peas. These should take about 2 minutes of cooking time until they’re tender. Transfer them to the bowl of ice water as well.
When I’m not making this salad recipe for Easter, I love blanched snap peas simply drizzled with miso dressing.
After all the vegetables are cool, you’ll remove them from the ice water and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel before building your brunch salad.
What you’ll need for the deviled egg dressing for this Spring salad idea:
- hard-boiled egg yolks – the key ingredient that makes this dressing kind of taste like a deviled egg!
- red wine vinegar – this adds acid and brightness to the dressing. Feel free to substitute white wine vinegar instead.
- horseradish – the prepared kind, from a jar. Use up some more of the jar by making bloody marys, and don’t forget the everything bagel bloody mary salt!
- Dijon mustard – this adds another little kick of subtle spiciness to the dressing for this Easter salad recipe (also love Dijon in the sauce for my corned beef egg rolls)!
- honey – adds sweetness and helps to emulsify the dressing. Leave the honey bear out on the counter and make some honey lemonade later in the week.
- sugar – also adds sweetness to help balance the bite of the horseradish and mustard. Make sure you have enough sugar on hand to make an orange bundt cake for dessert, too!
- paprika – what’s a deviled egg without a little bit of paprika sprinkled on top? I included it in the dressing for this salad recipe for Easter, too.
- salt and pepper – always.
- olive oil – choose a high quality oil since it will be the backbone of the dressing for this Spring salad idea.
Is the dressing spicy?
So, there are two things that add a little “kick” to the dressing for this Spring salad recipe – the horseradish and the Dijon mustard (which I also use to add a little kick to my maple Brussels sprouts).
However, the bite of those ingredients is balanced by the sweetness from the honey and sugar, and the acid of the vinegar.
So overall, I don’t think the dressing for this Easter salad idea is spicy to the point where your nose is going to run or anything like that. It’s creamy and tangy with just a little kick to it.
However, if you’re very averse to spice, you may want to omit or cut back on either the horseradish or the mustard in this deviled egg dressing. Or, you could use my citrus salad dressing for this Easter salad recipe, instead.
My favorite kitchen gadget for perfect hard boiled eggs for this Easter salad idea:
A little shout out to the Cuisinart egg cooker (not sponsored, but affiliate link).
I actually didn’t know egg cookers even existed until I took a food styling class a few years back, and the instructor recommended this cooker for perfect, easy-to-peel soft boiled eggs, like in my cottage cheese breakfast bowls.
I’m not much of a kitchen gadget person, but this appliance spoke to me, because I have NEVER had good luck with hard boiled eggs done the old fashioned way on the stove. I guess it’s just not one of my talents.
This little cooker doesn’t take up much space in my kitchen (I store it in a deep drawer with other small appliances when not in use), and it’s worth it’s weight in gold, whether I want just one soft boiled egg on top of my toast, four hard-boiled eggs for this salad recipe for Easter, or a half dozen or dozen for egg salad with pickles or Halloween deviled eggs.
It makes perfect hard boiled and soft boiled eggs for brunch salad and breakfast charcuterie boards EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I cannot recommend it enough!
However, if you don’t have an egg cooker, you can simply use the water that is already boiling from blanching the veggies. After the veggies are done cooking, you can hard boil the eggs for this Spring salad recipe in the same water.
How can I prepare this salad recipe for Easter in advance?
I’m a BIG fan of prepping for Easter dinner in advance, so there’s less to do the day of. I even make dessert ahead of time by making lemon creme brulee, and I’ll make my vegetable lasagna recipe the day before, too. This Easter salad recipe is no exception to the rule. Here’s how I do it:
- The parsley can be washed and kept in the refrigerator up to 3 days in advance for this salad recipe for Easter.
- the eggs can be boiled and the dressing can be made up to 2 days in advance and kept in an airtight container in the fridge. Boil some extra eggs for a batch of shrimp deviled eggs!
- the asparagus and snap peas be blanched, ice bathed, patted dry and stored in the refrigerator in ziploc bags up to 1 day in advance.
- The cheese for this salad for Easter dinner can be shaved up to 1 day in advance and kept in the fridge.
- The shallot can be sliced up to 1 day in advance and kept in the fridge.
On the day of the big feast, simply assemble all of your ready-to-go ingredients for this Easter salad and serve!
Special entrees to serve with this salad for Easter dinner:
Even if this Easter salad ends up stealing the show, you still need a main dish, right?
- Crock Pot Ribs prepared with Dry Rub for Ribs
- Crab Stuffed Salmon
- Lasagna with Cottage Cheese
- Rigatoni Bolognese
- Old Fashioned Ham and Bean Soup (for leftover ham)
This Spring salad is loaded with delicious seasonal ingredients including asparagus, snap peas, prosciutto and cheese. Topped with a deviled egg dressing, it's perfect as an Easter salad or for Mother's Day brunch.
For the Deviled Egg Dressing:
- 4 hard-boiled egg yolks (save the whites for the salad)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- Pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
For the Salad:
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 8 ounces snap peas
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- Zest of 1 lemon, grated or thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, shaved
- 2 ounces prosciutto, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 4 hard-boiled egg whites, sliced
- Make the Deviled Egg Dressing: In food processor fitted with knife blade attachment, puree egg yolks, water, honey, vinegar, mustard, horseradish, sugar, paprika and salt and pepper until well combined. With processor running, slowly drizzle in oil until all oil is incorporated. Makes about 3/4 cup dressing.
- Make the Salad: Heat large pot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Prepare a large bowl of ice water and place it next to the stove.
- Drop asparagus into boiling water and cook 1 to 3 minutes or until asparagus is just tender when pierced with a paring knife. Using tongs, transfer asparagus to ice water.
- Repeat process with snap peas (these should take 1 to 2 minutes to become tender).
- Remove vegetables from ice water and place in clean kitchen towel to pay dry. Cut asparagus stalks crosswise into thirds. If desired, gently open snap peas to expose their insides (this is pretty but not required).
- On large platter, gently toss together shallot, lemon zest, parsley, asparagus and snap peas. Top with cheese, prosciutto and egg whites. Serve drizzled with dressing, or serve dressing on the side.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 269Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 579mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 13g
This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Note: This recipe was originally published in 2014. The recipe was updated in 2022 to be even better, the photos were reshot, and the post was revised accordingly. The original photos appear below.
This salad looks so good to me but my husband isn’t a fan of parsley. I’m usually good at making my own substitutions, but I have to admit the flavor combos here are throwing me off! Any other herb/ or lettuce suggestions here? I love mint, but I’m not sure how that would pair with the dressing. We also like arugula but perhaps that would make this too peppery?
Hi Theresa! I think dill or basil would work really well in place of the parsley. Another choice would be arugula. I don’t think it will be too peppery, no. Enjoy!
Could you substitute spinich or romaine or arugula for the parsley?
Hi Sadie – If there’s any other herbs you might like, like dill or basil, I would recommend that. If not, a handful of arugula will work!
Something seems to be wrong with the “print” button. The instructions do not print, only the ingredients and the nutrition information.
Hi Dianne – You are absolutely right, something is broken here. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention; I had no idea! I’ll have my team fix this ASAP.
Should be fixed now 🙂
Thank you! Can’t wait to try this salad, it looks yummy!
HI Hannah! While some of it will definitely depend on how strong the horseradish you use it, this dressing is NOT at all runny nose level 🙂 In fact, I made it, tasted it, and then actually had to add extra horseradish before getting to the final recipe. There’s still just a little hint of it, jut the way I like it.
I’ve never used horseradish in a salad dressing, how “spicy” is this one? Is it like runny nose level, or just enough to make you say, “Hey what’s in that?”
Also, cool salad tongs. I like using my fancy salad bowls and random serving pottery as often as possible.
Awesome, Ice! I have a string of pearls my grandma gave me, and I definitely don’t save them for just special occasions – otherwise I feel like I’d never wear them.
I don’t get bottled dressings, either. I was just leaving that same comment on another blog. Homemade is so much easier!
After reading this post I decided to wear my mother’s pearls today while I am cooking for a couple of friends coming over today… and I look fabulous as I wash the dishes.. 🙂
The salad looks great. I never understand people who buy bottled salad dressings when it is so easy to make.
What a great salad! We have a friend that brings deviled eggs to our 4th of July celebration every year…and Bill dives right in. I need to make him this yummy dish! PS Are those from Michael Aram? I covet his stuff!!!
Oh, I think Bill would love this, then! And the vegetables are totally open to whatever he likes. The dressing could even be used on grilled vegetables or something.
They ARE Michael Aram, nice eye!
You ARE special every day, Jennie. And I love that way of thinking! Life’s too short to save things for special occasions!
This is such a creative salad. I love that dressing. I never save any of my dishes for “special.” I even use my antiques. I figure I’m special every day 🙂