Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Roasted Asparagus Salad

"Desperate. But not hopeless."

Yeah, to quote the Green Day song, I am desperate for Spring. But I'm not hopeless because I made "Spring for dinner" tonight. I've noticed a lot of food bloggers eating Springish lately as if we can will Spring into being here.

This picture is poorly focused but I had to use it because it's the only one I took because this was a quick weeknight dinner.

Roasted Asparagus Salad

source: Southern Living, March 2010

1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (about 1/2 pt.)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 head Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1 avocado, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus; remove scales with a vegetable peeler, if desired.

2. Stir together 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp. chopped basil, 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a large bowl.

3. Add asparagus to olive oil mixture, and toss gently to coat. Place asparagus on a lightly greased baking sheet.

4. Bake asparagus at 425° for 13 to 15 minutes or to desired degree of tenderness. Cool 10 minutes.

5. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, garlic, and remaining 7 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. basil, and 1/4 tsp. salt.

6. Toss together tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar mixture.

7. Arrange lettuce on individual serving plates. Top with tomato mixture and asparagus. Add avocado just before serving. Drizzle with remaining balsamic vinegar mixture.

Note: To make ahead, toss together tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion without dressing. Store these ready-to-use ingredients in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to five hours. The dressing and asparagus can also be made up to eight hours before serving.

We couldn't get bibb lettuce at two stores and went with romaine lettuce. Even the romaine was less than ideal quality. It was tough and a touch bitter. Did I mention I'm ready for Spring?

But Alexis and I both really like the contrast of the warm roasted asparagus in a cold salad. The simple vinaigrette went perfectly with this salad. Alexis said she'd love this recipe without any lettuce at all, just the asparagus and toppings. This recipe would be a nice opener for dinner or just as dinner itself.

Is there a dish that screams "Spring" to you that you have made recently just to get yourself in "Spring Mode"?


  1. Chris,
    Thanks for visiting! I am desperate for spring. We've been spoiled with two weeks of spring temperatures but today it is winter again. Ah! I've signed up to follow you so I'll be back.

  2. As a matter of fact, asparagus is as spring as it gets! This is beautiful, Chris.

  3. Looks so tasty Chris! Thanks for the post and the recipe. I can't wait to give it a try. :)

  4. What a great salad! I love the combination of ingredients! I did a basil tomato salad the other day, which I guess is more summer! I'm really pushing it!

  5. Wow. That's just too beautiful to eat.

  6. Spring is just a short jump away-thank goodness. Living in Florida, I never thought anyone would hear me say that I was looking forward to warmer weather....I am!!!! I am tired of being cold!

    Asparagus is a symbol of Spring and your salad not only screams Spring but Summer too, with those cherry tomatoes. I love your salad. I could eat that every day.

  7. Beautiful photo Chris. Asparagus is spring and Safeway had it on sale for 99 cents a pound today. WOO-HOO

  8. I am sure no pity for me, but i really do like the seasons changing. Feels odd not to have a spring this year... Mostly I will miss the farmer's markets waking up with new stuff...

    Will just have to make do...

    And I made a version of your orange asparagus recipe yesterday... will blog it in the morning... came out great (for me.. there was a discussion)

  9. I. Love. This. Salad.

    I added the name to the chopsticks using Picassa3.

  10. I'm remembering another song that went "desperate, but not serious..." It was in the 80's. Adam Ant?

  11. I am a huge asparagus fan!!!!This salad looks fantastic.....I will be making this one this summer :)

  12. I think the picture looks delicious! I love roasted asparagus, but have never had it with basil and some of the other ingredients in the recipe. It sounds delicious.

    I feel like we never get spring for very long. Usually it seems like it goes from the 40's to just plain hot. We'll see what happens this year.

  13. Agree with you Chris, I'm desperate for Spring, the theme is that first, I must pass the Winter here...lovely salad and colors :)



  14. It looks wonderful and very spring Chris - quite perfect if you ask me :-)

  15. Your obsession for spring is showing. What's this the 3 rd asparagus recipe in a few weeks? Not that I am complaining. GREG

  16. I love roasted veggies!! This sounds absolutely yummy! Asparagus has been on sale at the market lately....with sir sportsalots love of asparagus, I'm sure this would be a huge hit!

  17. We love asparagus at our house. I am going to put this on my menu.


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