I love when fresh asparagus takes over the produce department in springtime. This means winter is finally behind us, and the floodgates will soon open to a beautiful array of seasonal, locally grown veggies. Asparagus is full of nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, so it’s a great addition to your dinner plate.
Asparagus is typically roasted in the oven or grilled on the barbecue to be served as a side dish. But this versatile vegetable can be a great addition to a salad as well. It brings texture and flavor to a spring salad without overpowering it. I like to serve this salad with a simple dressing of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, but any dressing you like will work with this delicious salad.
8 spears asparagus (1½ cups sliced)
4 cups lettuce
1 carrot, thinly sliced
½ cup thinly sliced cucumber
1 scallion, diced
1 tbs. dried cranberries
- Fill a medium pot of water ¾ of the way to the top, cover, and bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.
- Trim the tough bottom sections off the asparagus spears. Discard the bottoms, and slice the asparagus into 1-inch pieces.
- Place the asparagus pieces in a strainer and set it in the boiling water. Blanch the asparagus by keeping it in the water for 1 to 2 minutes, until just tender. Test it by piercing it with a fork to see if it’s tender. When it’s ready, use the strainer to lift the asparagus out of the boiling water. Transfer it immediately to the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
- In a salad bowl, mix the lettuce, carrot, cucumber, scallion, and dried cranberries. With a slotted spoon, remove the asparagus from the ice water and transfer it to the salad bowl.
- Serve the salad with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, or use any salad dressing of choice.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy asparagus? Please let us know in the comments!