This roasted asparagus salad is a vibrant, tangy, and beautiful way to serve asparagus. It’s topped with pine nuts, feta crumbles, and a homemade vinaigrette that make it irresistible.
Out of all the asparagus recipes I’ve tried, this roasted asparagus salad with feta, pine nuts and vinaigrette is my absolute favorite.
When spring comes around the markets are full of plump delicious asparagus for just a few short weeks. I make sure I buy it regularly throughout the season, but then I’m left wondering what to make with the bounty.
How to Cook Asparagus
There are many ways to cook asparagus, and I don’t really favor one over the other. In this recipe, you can steam, roast, saute, or grill the asparagus. I always go with whatever method is easiest with the rest of the food I’m making.
To roast asparagus, I first cut off the tough bottoms of the spears, the place them on a baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle olive oil over the top, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
No matter which method of cooking you use, it takes about 10 minutes to cook asparagus so that it’s still a bit crunchy, and not soggy. If you prefer it a bit less toothsome, you can cook it for an additional 5 minutes, but I wouldn’t exceed 15. Mushy asparagus is no one’s friend.
Another tip for cooking asparagus is to use either a little bit of water or oil in the pan. This will keep the spears from drying out and the tips from burning.
How to Make Roasted Asparagus Salad
Cook the asparagus spears according to the roasting instructions. Allow the spears to cook a little once they’re out of the oven, so the cheese doesn’t melt when you sprinkle it on.
Arrange the asparagus on a serving platter. Then top with the feta crumbles, toasted pine nuts, and dried cranberries. You can really use any type of crumbly cheese that you want – goats cheese, blue cheese, Gorgonzola… they all work and taste great. You can also substitute the pine nuts for pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds – or just use them all.
Drizzle the vinaigrette dressing over the top of the salad. You can add as little or as much as you like.
The vibrant vinaigrette in this recipe pairs really well with the fresh vegetal crunch of the asparagus and the sweet dried cranberries. I always make my own vinaigrette because it’s incredibly easy and you will know what goes into it. You can see the full-size recipe here – the recipe below contains the recipe for a smaller quantity. Store bought dressings often have preservatives and other ingredients I’d rather not eat. You can mix up a batch of vinaigrette and store it in the refrigerator to use again for up to 5 days.
This asparagus salad is the perfect side dish or salad course for your next dinner party. It’s a fun and unique way to dress up plain old asparagus.
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Roasted Asparagus Salad with Cranberries and Feta Cheese
- 1.5-2 lb fresh asparagus tough ends removed
- 2 tsp olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup pine nuts lightly toasted
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
For the vinaigrette
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp agave nectar or honey
- 1/4 tsp dry Italian herbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut the tough ends off the asparagus spears and place them on a baking sheet.
- Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus, then season with salt and pepper. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove the asparagus from the oven. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer the asparagus to a serving platter. Line the asparagus up in a single-layer.
- Sprinkle with the cranberries, pine nuts, and feta cheese across the center of the asparagus. Spoon the vinaigrette over the top. Serve.
To make the vinaigrette
- Combine all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a bowl or jar. Whisk or shake vigorously until well combined. Refrigerate and use for up to a week.
- 1 pound of asparagus generally contains 12-15 spears. Plan on serving 6-8 spears per person, depending on the size of the asparagus.
- You can substitute any crumbly cheese for the feta, like blue cheese, gorgonzola, or goats cheese.
- You can substitute walnuts, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds for the pine nuts.
- If you want to make a larger quantity of the vinaigrette in this recipe, use this full-size recipe.