Easy roasted asparagus salad recipe with tomatoes, basil, and a light sherry vinaigrette! Add your favorite cheese like fried halloumi, crumbled creamy feta, or shaved Parmesan, or skip the cheese to keep this delicious roasted asparagus recipe vegan!
Best roasted asparagus salad
Asparagus is one of my favorite spring vegetables. I’m a big fan of it any way it comes – sautéed with some lemon and garlic, grilled with other bright vegetables, or even blanched (as long as it’s topped with a little Mediterranean-style salsa!)
But I especially love the convenience of tender roasted asparagus, which needs little more than a dash of salt, good extra virgin olive oil, and a hot oven to make! (I added some last night next to my favorite baked cod)!
In this recipe, tender roasted asparagus spears make the perfect bed for a topping of fresh little tomatoes and basil with a bright sherry vinaigrette.
To me, this roasted asparagus salad makes a show-stopping side, with or without a little cheese. I used fried halloumi over the asparagus, which gives the salad a bit of a unique and indulgent twist. But you can use feta, goat cheese, or shaved parmesan. (Of course, to keep this asparagus recipe vegan, you can simply omit the cheese altogether).
Tips for the best oven-roasted asparagus
Roasting asparagus is one of the easiest things to do, but a few tips ensure tender spears that still have a good bite:
- Fatter spears are better for roasting, but try to buy spears of similar size. They will cook at the same speed, so you won’t have some spears that are too soft or too hard after roasting.
- Trim the hard, “woody” root ends. The root end of the asparagus spear is usually white or a very pale green and it’s very hard and unpleasant to eat. Go ahead and trim those ends with a sharp knife or snap them off (simply hold the end of the asparagus spear and bend until it breaks). The spear will act as a guide for how much to trim off the rest of the bunch of asparagus. But I find eyeballing works just fine as well.
- Leave the trimmed spears whole for oven roasted asparagus. First, it’s less prep work, plus it gives you better results (tender but not too soft). But, if you prefer bite-sized pieces, you can cut them into smaller 2-inch pieces (just don’t cut them too small).
- Use a large sheet pan and arrange the spears in one single layer. As with any roasted vegetables, you’ll get better results if your asparagus spears are each touching the hot surface of the pan.
- Use a hot oven! I like to make baked asparagus in a 400 degrees F heated oven for perfectly tender results.
- Oven-roasted asparagus is ready when it is tender-crispy. In a hot oven, asparagus should take 15 minutes or so, depending on its thickness. (The stick-thin ones can cook as quickly as 7 minutes in your hot oven.) It should turn from a bright green to a more olive green color. You can tell if your asparagus is not cooked if it is hard to pierce with a fork.
Asparagus salad ingredients and prep notes
- Asparagus. You’ll need about 1 ½ pounds - Choose spears that are of similar size (fatter ones do better in the oven). Trim off the hard end with a sharp knife.
- Extra virgin olive oil - Use a good EVOO with a slightly peppery finish.
- Grape tomatoes - About 3 cups of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved.
- Large basil leaves - Tear up about 15 basil leaves (should be a good cup or so).
- Cheese (optional) - I used fried halloumi, but lots of cheese options would work in this salad (see some ideas below). Or, simply leave it out altogether for a vegan roasted asparagus salad.
The homemade vinaigrette is what brings this composed tomato asparagus salad together. It’s made of a few simple ingredients whisked together. You’ll need:
- Sherry reserve vinegar - You can also use white wine vinegar.
- Extra virgin olive oil - Our Hojiblanca EVOO is peppery and slightly spicy, and adds the perfect depth to this sherry dressing.
- Garlic - Just 1 clove of minced garlic is all you need.
- Sumac - Optional, but I recommend this smoky, astringent spice! It rounds out the flavors in this easy homemade vinaigrette.
How to make roasted asparagus salad
- Prepare the asparagus. Clean 1 ½ pounds asparagus and cut off the hard end of each spear. Place the asparagus on a large oiled baking sheet. Season with kosher salt and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Toss to coat all the asparagus in EVOO. Arrange the asparagus so that it is in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Roast the asparagus on the center rack of a 400 degrees F heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Make the vinaigrette and dress. Whisk together ¼ cup sherry reserve vinegar (or white wine vinegar), ¼ cup EVOO, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 teaspoon sumac, and kosher salt and pepper to taste. Combine 3 cups halved grape tomatoes with the fried halloumi (if using) and toss with the sherry vinaigrette.
- Assemble and serve. Arrange the roasted asparagus on a serving platter. Top with the dressed tomato and halloumi mixture. Sprinkle 15 large torn basil leaves over the top, and serve.
Cheese options for this salad
You can absolutely serve the oven-roasted asparagus salad vegan, but if you want to add cheese, you can try feta, goat cheese, shaved parmesan, Pecorino Romano, or even fried halloumi as I do in this recipe.
Fried halloumi is my guilty pleasure, and it does make this roasted asparagus salad recipe unique.
If you want to add the halloumi, start by cutting 4 ounces of halloumi cheese into ¼-inch thick squares. Fry the halloumi cheese in a large skillet with some EVOO that’s been heated over medium heat. You’ll need to fry the cheese in batches, for a minute or two, turning once. The cheese is ready when it’s golden brown.
Make ahead tips
If you want to work ahead, trim your asparagus a night in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also cut the grape tomatoes in half ahead of time and store them in the fridge as well.
The vinaigrette will keep well refrigerated, so make that a night ahead to save some time the next day.
Serve it with
This beautiful roasted asparagus salad with many dishes. Serve it next to a simple fish like baked cod. For a special spring dinner, I love serving it next to rack of lamb, salmon kebabs, or grilled chicken.
This roasted asparagus recipe also makes a delicious, nutritious light lunch by itself.
Leftovers and storage
This tomato asparagus salad is best assembled and eaten immediately, but leftovers may last up to 3 days or so (it’s best to keep the cheese off the salad).
More asparagus recipes
Roasted Asparagus Salad with Tomato and Basil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the asparagus spears on a large oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (toss to coat and be sure to spread asparagus in one layer.) Roast in heated-oven for 15 to 20 mins until tender. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the vinegar with the extra virgin olive oil, garlic, sumac, salt and pepper.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the grape tomatoes with your choice of cheese (if using) and toss them together with the sherry vinaigrette.
- Assemble the roasted asparagus on a serving platter and top with the tomato and cheese mixture. Finally, add the basil leaves. Enjoy.
- Cheese options: Skip the cheese to keep this salad vegan, or use some fried halloumi, creamy crumbled feta, or shaved Parmesan. (Note that cheese is optional and is not included in the nutrition information.)
- If using halloumi cheese: Fry halloumi squares in batches for 1 to 2 minutes, turning once. Remove from the heat when cheese is golden brown. Allow it to rest on paper towels briefly to drain excess oil.
- Tips for roasted asparagus: Buy spears that are around the same size and be sure to trim off the hard, "woody" ends. Arrange the trimmed asparagus in a single layer on a large sheet pan so that each spear is touching the hot surface. Bake in a hot oven. (Mine was heated to 400 degrees F.)
- Make-ahead tips: Trim your asparagus a night in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also cut the grape tomatoes in half ahead of time and store them in the fridge as well. The vinaigrette will keep well refrigerated, so make that a night ahead to save some time the next day.
- Serving ideas: Serve roasted asparagus salad next to a simple fish like baked cod. For a special spring dinner, I love serving it next to rack of lamb, salmon kebabs, or grilled chicken. It’s also the perfect item for brunch next to a heftier egg dish like my baked egg casserole or herby potato omelet. This roasted asparagus recipe also makes a delicious, nutritious light lunch by itself.
- Leftovers and storage: This tomato asparagus salad is best assembled and eaten immediately, but leftovers may last up to 3 days or so (it’s best to keep the cheese off the salad).
- Visit our Shop to browse Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils and all-natural and organic spices (like the sumac used in this recipe).