Here’s one of my all time favorite spring salads! When creating this I was skeptical that it would be anything “wow!” worthy because there really isn’t a whole lot to it, it’s easy to make and it doesn’t require a lot of ingredients but sometimes the simpler things are some of the best, it was “wow!” worthy and then some. I mean when you start to lose track of how many plates of it you’ve dished up then it must be pretty amazing. It’s so good you’ll be like “what main dish?” Forget it all just give me a heaping bowl full of this! I loved every ingredient in this Asparagus, Tomato and Feta Salad and how surprisingly well it really all came together. When you add balsamic vinegar to anything you pretty much know from the get go that it’s going to be good, right? I love when I can make something healthy that I’m so excited about! Good for your body and good for your tastebuds. It’s kind of like the time my brother described sushi to me as “a party of flavors in his mouth” that’s what I’m going to go with on this one :). Another thing I really enjoyed about this salad were the textures and the contrast there, the crunchy roasted walnuts mixed in among the perfectly tender asparagus and the crisp, juicy bite from the tomatoes.
We get so used to the salads with some sort of lettuce that I think it can be easy to forget salads really don’t have to have lettuce. Yes of course I’ll always love a chopped salad or house salad with some sort of crisp lettuce to it but sometimes it’s just nice to have something different. Something out of the norm. With Easter just around the corner this would make the perfect side dish to your holiday gathering! And in the summer when you have fresh strawberries you can even try a sweet variation on this by replacing the tomatoes with strawberries – but be sure to try the tomato version at least once because it is oh so amazing! Yes, that’s right I’m raving about a salad. Try this, you won’t regret it!
- 6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 lbs fresh asparagus (preferably medium thickness), tough ends trimmed, remaining diced into 2-inch pieces
- 1 (10.5 oz) pkg. grape tomatoes, halved
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (scant 1 cup)
- 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 jar or 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 immediately transfer asparagus to 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).