Artichoke and Asparagus Antipasto Salad with Apricot Almond Butter Vinaigrette

Artichoke and Asparagus Antipasto Salad
(Serves 8-10) Vegan, Almost-Raw, Gluten-Free

Blogging from A to Z beginning with the letter “A” today. So I decided to bring my “A” game. Art to Choke Hearts was the inspiration today; discussing Artichokes and the blog with my husband he mentioned Henry Rollins’ book over dinner, respect.
Italian on the menu tonight, so I was further inspired to make an Antipasto salad. The salad has Asparagus, Artichoke hearts, Almonds, Arugula and an amazing dressing of Almond Butter, Apricot and Agave. The dressing alone is killer! Enjoy!

1 bunch Asparagus Spears, ends trimmed (Abt 50 spears)
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Cup Carrots Chips
3 (14oz) Cans Quartered Artichoke Hearts
¼ Cup Water
1 Cup Roasted Red Peppers, sliced
6 oz Stuffed Green Olives
4 oz Capers
5 oz Sun-dried Tomatoes, sliced
½ Cup Sliced Almonds
1-2 Cups baby Arugula 

-Trim Asparagus ends and then slice remaining in half. Heat 2 Tbsp Olive Oil in sauté pan and sauté Asparagus for 5 minutes. During that last minute add Garlic. Remove from pan and set aside.
-Add Carrots and heat through for 2 minutes back to same pan. After 2 minutes add water and heat for another 2 minutes to steam. Remove from pan and set aside.
-Back to same pan add Artichokes and heat through, warm for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
-In dry pan toss sliced almonds until lightly toasted.
-Toss together all ingredients: Asparagus, Carrots, Artichokes, Roasted Red Peppers, Olives/Capers, Sundried Tomatoes, Almonds and Arugula.

Apricot Almond Butter Vinaigrette
(Makes 1 ½ Cup Dressing)

1/3 Cup Almond Butter (or 3 – 1.15oz Packs Justin’s) – pictured below
2 Tbsp Apricot Preserves
2 Tbsp Tamari Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tbsp blue Agave Nectar
3 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar


-Whisk all ingredients together and refrigerate any remaining.