Yippee! Entertaining season is officially here! I can almost smell the burgers on the grill. Is there anything better in life? I certainly can’t think of much.
With spring in full bloom now is the time to take advantage of a classic go to spring vegetable: asparagus. It’s absolutely delicious and should be the star, or at least the sidekick, for your next bbq gathering with family and friends. Think burgers on the grill, chilled rosé in hand, good music playing, and of course sunshine!
What to pair with that perfectly cooked juicy burger? Well, this spring asparagus salad has got it going on. The best part is that you can prep the ingredients earlier in the day so come dinner time all you need to do is toss with the dressing. The flavors of the toasted walnuts with the feta and tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette dressing are perfection. And the ease of it all is just what you need on a busy weekend day shuffling kids from here to there to everywhere.
A few details, asparagus can come in a thinner version or a thicker. For this particular salad, I liked the size a bit heartier. Don’t skip toasting the walnuts, makes all the difference. For the feta, I used a Bulgarian feta from Heinens that was so creamy and lovely, but any could work.
ASPARAGUS, TOMATO, WALNUT & FETA SALAD
Recipe from Cooking Classy
2 lbs fresh asparagus (preferably medium thickness), tough ends trimmed, remaining diced into 1 to 2-inch pieces
1 (10.5 oz) pkg. grape tomatoes, halved
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Meanwhile prepare vinaigrette – add vinegar to a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat and allow to boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Pour into a bowl, add olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, garlic and whisk to blend while seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Add asparagus to boiling water and allow to boil until tender crisp, about 4 – 5 minutes. Meanwhile fill a medium mixing bowl with ice and cold water. Drain and quickly transfer asparagus to the ice water, let rest about 10 seconds then drain asparagus well. Transfer to a bowl with tomatoes and walnuts. Drizzle vinaigrette over top and toss lightly. Sprinkle over half of the feta then plate and top with remaining feta (just so the feta doesn’t brown from tossing with all the dressing).*
*You can make everything ahead of time and then toss with the dressing before serving and top with feta.
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