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. If you are looking for another great recipe you might try this shaved asparagus pesto salad.
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.
1 pound of asparagus generally contains 12-15 spears. Plan on serving 6-8 spears per person, depending on the size of the asparagus.
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.
» If you have too much of a good thing, try this method for freezing asparagus to use it later.
What You Need
This roasted asparagus salad has a great salty, sweet flavor combination. Add a little crunch from the pine nuts and it is the perfect bite.
Here are the ingredients you will need:
- Fresh asparagus: Make sure that the tough woody ends have been removed
- Olive oil: You will need olive oil for cooking. It is a healthy choice for oil. However, you can use canola oil or any other cooking oil as well. You will want to use olive oil for the dressing though. It adds so much to the flavor.
- Salt & pepper
- Dried cranberries
- Pine nuts: Lightly toasted, you can also substitute the pine nuts for pumpkin seeds, walnuts or sunflower seeds
- Feta Cheese: You can really use any type of crumbly cheese that you want – goats cheese, blue cheese or Gorgonzola are possible substitutes
- Apple cider vinegar: This is my vinegar of choice for salad dressing but you can replace it with red or white wine vinegar or balsamic or sherry vinegar. For a more mild taste try rice wine vinegar.
- Dijon mustard
- Agave nectar or honey: Both can be used interchangeably. Adjust the sweetness to your liking
- Dry Italian herbs: Usually contains a mixture of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram.
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, walnuts 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.
If you like this grilled asparagus, you’ll also love these Sautéed Brussel Sprouts. I can’t seem to get enough of these two veggies these days. They can be paired with just about any main you’ve chosen for dinner, and both make a great side for a dinner party.
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Roasted Asparagus Salad with Cranberries and Feta Cheese
- 1.5-2 pounds fresh asparagus tough ends removed
- 2 teaspoons 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 tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
- 1/4 teaspoon 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.
- 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.
🥧 If you’re interested in more great recipes, I share all my favorite Instant Pot recipes over at A Pressure Cooker Kitchen, air fryer recipes at Air Fry Anytime, and cocktails and drinks at Savored Sips. Check it out today!
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.