This easy asparagus salad with garlicky dressing, fresh herbs, and a final sprinkle of creamy feta boasts big Mediterranean flavors. Serve this healthy asparagus salad recipe as a dinner-time side or bring it to your next backyard barbecue or potluck.
This asparagus salad recipe is made with peas and bite-sized cherry tomatoes to take full advantage of the warming weather and the amazing produce that goes with it. Like my Winter Fruit Salad or Fall Butternut Squash Pasta, it’s a prime example of how delicious simple recipes can taste when you cook with the seasons!
Asparagus is at its most flavorful in spring and early summer. It really doesn’t need much, just a quick blanch. That may sound cheffy, but all you do is dip it in boiling water followed by a dip ice water. The easy technique makes vegetables slightly tender and keeps their vibrant flavor and color.
From there, we add spring peas, peppery radishes, bright cherry tomatoes, and fresh herbs like parsley and mint. This vibrant and colorful salad is meant to be shared and keeps well. Make it ahead of time for your next spring or summer gathering!
Table of Contents
Ingredients for Asparagus Salad
This Asparagus Salad highlights spring and early summer’s freshest flavors. Look for the most vibrant vegetables at your grocery store or farmer’s market.
- Asparagus: Look for stalks that are firm and bright green with tight tips.
- Peas: Fresh or frozen peas will work so use what’s available to you.
- Cherry tomatoes: Small, sweet, and firm, cherry tomatoes add texture and color to this salad recipe. They can be substituted with grape tomatoes.
- Radishes: Radishes add a peppery and refreshing flavor and a nice crunch.
- Fresh herbs: And lots and lots of them! Mint and parsley are mostly to thank for this salad’s fresh Mediterranean flavor.
- Feta cheese: A fresh, high quality feta packed in brine brings a touch of creaminess and saltiness. If you don’t do dairy, this salad is delicious without feta. If you’re going for low lactose, you can substitute with freshly shaved parmesan or pecorino.
- Red wine vinegar: Bright and slightly sweet red wine vinegar brings balance. If you don’t have any on-hand, substitute with fresh lemon juice.
- Garlic: Garlic adds a kick to the dressing, making this salad extra savory. If you don’t do garlic, swap it with shallot.
- Salt and pepper: Salt and pepper bring out all the fresh flavors of this salad.
- Sumac: Sumac is an essential spice in Mediterranean kitchens (you can read more about it in our guide to sumac). Tart and citrusy, it gives this salad a bright, authentic flavor. Find sumac at our shop, select grocery stores, substitute with lemon zest, or leave off.
- Extra virgin olive oil: A bold, peppery olive oil matches what the radishes are bringing to the table. I use Hojiblanca from Spain.
How to Make Asparagus Salad
Asparagus salad is the perfect first course or side dish on a hot day. You don’t need to turn on the oven or grill! The vegetables get just a quick dunk in boiling water. Follow the steps below to make this flavorful salad from start to finish.
- Get ready: Snap off the ends of 1 pound of asparagus and discard. Slice into thirds. Slice 10 ounces of cherry tomatoes in half. Thinly slice 5 large radishes into rounds. Chop about 1 bunch worth of mint and parsley leaves to yield ⅓ packed cup each. Peel and mince 2 garlic cloves.
- Blanch the asparagus and peas: Set up a large bowl with ice water. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add the sliced asparagus and 1 cup of fresh or frozen peas to the boiling water. Cook until just tender, 3-5 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer to the bowl of ice water. Once cool, drain.
- Make the dressing: In a large mixing bowl, add 3 tablespoons of vinegar, the minced garlic, and a big pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Optionally, add 1 teaspoon sumac and whisk to combine. Continue whisking as you slowly drizzle in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Whisk until the dressing is emulsified.
- Mix the salad: Add the blanched veggies to the bowl with the dressing. Toss in the halved tomatoes, sliced radishes, and chopped herbs. Optionally, crumble in 1-2 ounces of feta cheese and toss to combine.
- Serve: Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Transfer to a serving platter or bowl. Serve immediately.
Make Ahead Tips
As this asparagus salad rests, the flavors get friendlier and really come out to party. Blanched vegetables keep their bright color without turning limp and tired. It’s a great salad recipe to make ahead of schedule!
To get ahead, mix the blanched veggies, tomatoes, radishes, and chopped herbs without the dressing. Whisk the dressing separately. Cover both and store in your refrigerator for up to 3 hours.
When you’re about ready, take everything out of your fridge for 10 to 15 minutes to come up to room temperature. Dress, toss in the feta, and serve.
What to Serve with Asparagus Salad
This asparagus salad recipe calls for light and bright spring and summer meals. Serve with fish, like lemony Simple Poached Salmon or crispy pan-seared Seabass with Garlicky Bell Peppers.
For a vegetarian (and gluten-free) meal, try an Italian chickpea pancake called Farinata. It has a crispy edge with a decadent custardy center that’s so delicious and satisfying. The fresh vegetable salad is a delicious match for the savory pancake’s nutty, earthy flavor.
More Amazing Asparagus Recipes
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Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Give your salads a kick with bold, peppery olive oil from 100% Hojiblanca olives grown in the Southern Andalusian region of Estepa.
For the Salad
- 1 pound asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into thirds
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 10 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
- 5 large radishes, thinly sliced into rounds
- ⅓ cup packed chopped mint leaves
- ⅓ cup packed chopped parsley leaves
- 1 to 2 ounces feta cheese (optional), crumbled
For the Dressing
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sumac (optional)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Blanch the asparagus and peas: Set up a large bowl with ice water. Fill a large saucepan with water and set it over high heat. When the water comes to a boil, add the asparagus and peas.Cook just until tender, 3-5 minutes. The vegetables should look bright green, and still have some texture. Drain and immediately add the vegetables to the bowl of ice water to cool. (Shocking the veggies in ice water stops them from overcooking and preserves their beautiful green color.) Drain.
- Make the dressing: In a large mixing bowl, add the vinegar, garlic, a big pinch of salt and pepper, and the sumac, if using. Whisk to combine. Continue whisking as you slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Whisk until the dressing is emulsified.
- Mix the salad: To the large bowl with the dressing, add the blanched asparagus and peas. Add the tomatoes, radish, and fresh herbs. Toss to combine. Toss in the feta cheese, if using.
- Serve: Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Transfer to a serving platter or bowl and serve.
- Boil the asparagus and peas until they’re just tender. Maintaining some of their crunch gives the salad a fresh and vibrant taste.
- If you like a very lightly dressed salad, set half of the dressing aside before mixing the herbs and vegetables. Any leftover dressing can be used on roasted potatoes or poured over a simple side salad.
- Visit our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils, organic spices (like the za'atar and sumac used in this recipe), and more.
It was served at a friend’s house…and I flipped over it! Loved the crispy combo of vegetables and herbs. The friend was so generous to share the recipe!
Really nice and refreshing for Spring! Roasted the asparagus on the grill before adding to the salad and it was a great touch.
How could this have 744 calories?
Yikes! Thanks for catching that. It should be 186 cal/serving. It's been corrected :).