The days are long and the air is warm. Light, tasty salads are perfect for the season! And although spring is the best time of year to buy asparagus, summer’s pretty great, too. Plus, tomatoes are at their most flavorful right now, especially if you’re growing them yourself. So what better way to celebrate than with this flavorful asparagus, feta and tomato salad?
Cooking the asparagus for this salad recipe is a cinch. You simply broil it in the oven for a little over five minutes, which is ample time for you to make the vinaigrette in which you will toss the salad.
Using a simple combo of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard, you will have the base for the perfect dressing to accompany your salad.
Add sugar to taste. If you are trying to stay away from white sugar, you can also swap it out for honey instead.
As for the base, you can use plain balsamic vinegar or white or red. You can even go for champagne vinegar if that’s your preference. Switch it up!
And don’t be afraid to play around with your olive oil either. Try an infused option like lemon-infused olive oil for a fresh, spring-forward flavor.
The addition of halved cherry tomatoes, red onion and salty, creamy feta cheese will turn this salad into something truly decadent.
Go to The Daring Gourmet for step-by-step instructions on how to whip up this tasty dish. As the recipe points out, it only takes about 20 minutes to put this together, including about 10 minutes of prep time.
Once all your ingredients are ready, all you have to do is spread the asparagus out on a lined baking sheet and drizzle the whole thing with olive oil and a little salt and black pepper.
Toss to coat, and then roast the asparagus for about 6-8 minutes, depending on the thickness. Once the asparagus is lightly browned, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Once its cooled, cut the asparagus into smaller, 1-inch pieces. Toss it into a mixing bowl with red onion and cherry tomatoes. Finally, add the vinaigrette and feta cheese.
The recipe suggests letting this dish sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. If you plan to serve it later, simply pop the salad into the refrigerator until you need it.
As The Daring Gourmet points out, you can serve this as a delicious side dish to accompany a meal. Or, if you’re looking to eat something light, you can have it as a full meal, perhaps served with some good bread.
Cooking Classy has a slightly different take on the asparagus, tomato and feta salad. This recipe calls for blanching the asparagus instead of broiling it. As the recipe outlines, you can do so by first adding asparagus to boiling water and allowing it to boil for about 4-5 minutes, until it gets slightly tender.
While it boils, fill a separate medium mixing bowl with ice and cold water. When the asparagus is ready, drain and immediately transfer to ice water.
Let it rest for about 10 seconds before draining the asparagus from there as well and transferring it to a bowl with the other ingredients.
This version also opts for grape tomatoes instead of cherry. Although their skins will be a little bit tougher, grape tomatoes are less watery than cherry, which can make them a better option for salads.
They are also generally small enough that you won’t need to worry about cutting them in half, which saves you even more prep time.
But swapping cherry tomatoes for grape tomatoes isn’t the only substitution you can make. The recipe suggests that you try another variation on this recipe in the summer by replacing the tomatoes with fresh strawberries. That will give it a fresh, seasonal feel.
This recipe also adds walnuts, providing the salad with a bit of crunch. You may even want to opt for candied walnuts to add just a touch of sweetness.
Not a fan of walnuts? Swap them out for whatever your preferred nut is. Pecans or slivered almonds would also work beautifully with this dish.
Whatever you prefer, the end result will be delicious!
So, who’s ready for this season’s fresh flavors?