A yellow plate topped with a salad and a fork
November 13, 2023
A yellow plate topped with a salad and a fork

Brain Healthy Ingredients: Asparagus, Cruciferous vegetables & dark leafy greens

Serves: 2

Asparagus is filled with vitamins A, C, and folic acid, all of which may play a role in a healthy brain just as they do in a healthy body.

The fennel will turn brown very quickly. If you need to cut it ahead of time, coat the slices with some lemon juice.


  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 anchovy, finely chopped, with a small amount of oil reserved
  • Juice and zest of ½ Meyer lemon (can substitute regular lemon)
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp capers with a bit of the juice
  • 2 tsps Dijon mustard
  • 5 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 stalks of asparagus, ends trimmed, peeled up to the base of the tips, and thinly sliced on an angle
  • 1 medium-sized head of fennel, very thinly sliced (with mandolin if possible)
  • 3 sprigs of fennel fronds, coarsely chopped or torn
  • 20 very thin slices of Piave cheese or Parmesan cheese (shaved with a vegetable peeler, if possible)
  • Coarse salt and pepper to taste


  • Place shallot and anchovy in a bowl. Add lemon juice and zest, vinegar, capers and juice. Set aside for 10 minutes. Add mustard. Slowly whisk in olive oil and set aside.
  • Combine raw asparagus, fennel, and fennel fronds in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss with some of the vinaigrette and taste. Add more vinaigrette, salt, or pepper if desired, and continue tasting until salad is dressed and seasoned to your liking.
  • Sprinkle cheese over the top and gently toss once more. Serve immediately.