This asparagus salad is a refreshing and light salad. Topped with toasted breadcrumbs, fresh herbs, chopped walnuts and a lemon vinaigrette makes this a perfect salad for summer.
This is one of those salads I truly enjoy during the summer. It is a fun addition to a barbeque or pool party. This has always been a hit where ever I have brought this little dish. Another bonus to this salad is that it will not be soggy after a few hours and the asparagus will stay crisp.
In this recipe
The asparagus is the main star of this dish however there are some great additions that will complement the asparagus nicely. The first which is the blistered tomatoes. Then you have the toasted breadcrumbs. These will give a slightly nutty flavor and additional texture especially paired with the chopped walnuts.
Blanching is when you will boil a vegetable and then plunge it into cold water to help stop the cooking process. When blanching you will want to make sure that the water tastes like the ocean before adding the asparagus. You also want to make sure the water stays at a rolling boil if at all possible. Then you’ll want to plunge the asparagus into the cold water as soon as possible. This will stop the process of cooking and the asparagus turning brown.
Blistering tomatoes is really one of the easiest ways to prepare cherry tomatoes. To blister you will heat oil in a pan and then add the tomatoes. Since tomatoes have a high water content and the skin isn’t very elastic once the water heats up and turns to steam it causes the skin to split. The key is to let the tomatoes sit in the pan undisturbed for a couple of minutes. Then gently roll them so other parts can get a little char. This shouldn’t take more than 5-6 minutes.
Making asparagus salad
When assembling this salad you don’t want to toss it really hard. Otherwise the tomatoes will become pulverized. I personally like to toss the salad with all of the ingredients except the tomatoes. Then when everything is coated add the tomatoes and mix gently with a spoon. Also note that there is more than enough dressing and you don’t have to use it all. Use the amount appropriate for your tastes. I use about 1/3 to 1/2 of the dressing.
Looking for other side dishes?
Asparagus Salad with Tomatoes
- Large pot
- 2 Mixing bowls
- Sauté pan
- 1½ pounds asparagus
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup walnuts chopped
- ½ tbsp pepper
- ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp thyme fresh, chopped
- 1 tbsp basil chopped
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add enough salt to the water that it tastes like the ocean.
Toasting the breadcrumbs
- In a sauté pan, on medium-high heat, heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil and add the bread crumbs. Stir occasionally until they are toasted and set aside.
Blistering the tomatoes
- Add another 2 tbsp of olive oil back to the pan and add the tomatoes. Still occasionally but allow them to get hot and burst. Rotate them so that more than one side will get a little charred. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Cooking the asparagus
- Fill a large bowl with ice water and set in the sink.
- While the water heating slice the woody ends of the asparagus then slice the asparagus into 1½ inch long pieces.
- Once the water has started boiling add the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the asparagus into the colander and immediately plunge the colander into the bowl of cold water.
Making the dressing
- In a glass jar combine the remaining olive oil, mustard, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, lemon zest and lemon juice. Shake to mix.
- In a mixing bowl add the asparagus, tomatoes, chopped walnuts, basil and thyme. Toss with the salad dressing.