Asparagus Blue Cheese Salad

April 30, 2024

platter of asparagus blue cheese salad

Asparagus teaches me patience. Yes, we find this bright green harbinger of spring in supermarkets all year long. No, it does not taste the same in cold months. I am thrilled to welcome asparagus back.

No-cook meals and sides and salads are always a treat, despite your love of cooking with heat.The best method for making perfectly crisp yet tender asparagus spears involves the microwave oven. Even so, let’s ignore that aspect of cooking and simply call this salad easy and heat free.

The subtle flavor of asparagus pairs well with strong flavored cheese, like parmesan, feta or blue veined cheeses. My favorite blues are Point Reyes and Buttermilk Blue. Use your favorite and feel free to substitute if blue veined cheeses are not your thing.

ingredients for asparagus blue cheese salad

My salad also features thin slices of radish, another spring vegetable. Its bite marries well with cheeses. Parsley is usually relegated to garnish status. This is a shame since the leaves of Italian parsley are a wonderful addition to entrees, sides and salads. Indeed, when my garden sleeps in cold weather months, Italian parsley kept in water like a bright green bouquet livens up everything.

undressed asparagus blue cheese salad

 

Use any nut for this salad. I love the taste of pine nuts in the untoasted state.

The blue cheese dressing, made ahead, makes your kitchen work simple. Allow it to settle out of the fridge for an hour or so for softening and optimal flavor. Microwave the asparagus and let it cool. There is no need to chill, as this salad tastes fine at room temperature.

closeup of asparagus blue cheese salad

Make this salad an entree by adding the protein of your choice.

Asparagus Blue Cheese Salad

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes four servings

ingredients

one pound asparagus, preferably thicker spears,  kosher salt
4 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon creamy dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
½ tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
9-10 small radishes, sliced thinly
¾ cup loosely packed Italian parsley leaves
2 tablespoons untoasted pine nuts
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

directions

  1. Rinse and trim asparagus and lay spears side by side in one layer on kitchen towel, wetted thoroughly then twisted to remove excess water.
  2. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon kosher salt evenly over spears, roll up towel from one end to the other and place this bundle in the microwave oven.
  3. Cook for 3 minutes on high; unroll towel and allow asparagus to cool to room temperature.
  4. Cut the spears diagonally into 1-2 inch pieces.
  5. Make the dressing : whisk together vinegar, salt, pepper, honey, mustard and shallot, gradually whisking in olive oil.
  6. Add crumbled blue cheese and stir gently; may be made ahead one day.
  7. On platter or individual plates, arrange asparagus and radish.
  8. Spoon dressing over vegetables, then scatter parsley.
  9. Finally, top with pine nuts.
  10. Serve immediately.
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4 thoughts on “Asparagus Blue Cheese Salad

  1. Paula Pappas

    Now I know why winter asparagus is so woody! Lovely way to use the tender stalks of spring. Looking forward to shaking up my salad routine with this beauty, love the pairing with tangy blue cheese…

    Reply

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