Asparagus Mint Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Get in the spirit of spring and wake up your taste buds with this Asparagus Mint Salad!
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I was compensated for writing the original article and developing the recipe found in the May 2015 issue of Today’s Dietitian. I was not compensated for sharing the column or magazine with readers on my blog. All opinions are my own.
I’m so excited to share that I am now a contributing writer for Today’s Dietitian! Starting with the May 2015 issue, you will find my articles and recipes in the Culinary Corner column, which appears at the end of every issue. You can find my first article and this Asparagus Mint Salad recipe in the May 2015 issue of Today’s Dietitian, but here’s a sneak peek!
“As a child, vegetables weren’t my preferred food. Other than peas and carrots, corn, and tomatoes in the form of tomato sauce, it would be sheer luck if a vegetable landed on my plate. Fast-forward a couple of decades, and not only do I like almost all vegetables, but my 3-year-old twin daughters do, too. While most vegetables are available all year round, one of the things we love the most in my family is eating with the seasons.”
You can read the rest of my column at Today’s Dietitian, where you’ll also find the Asparagus Mint Recipe featured below.
Ingredients & Preparation
Asparagus is one of the most nutritious and delicious spring vegetables. Like other flowers that bloom in the spring, asparagus, which is a perennial plant in the lily family, pops out of the ground as the cold temperatures dissipate and the ground warms up for spring. Nutritionally, asparagus is a good to excellent source of folic acid, vitamins A and C, potassium, and the antioxidant glutathione. It’s also a source of prebiotics.
Growing up, I remember my mom steaming asparagus in a shallow pan of water on the stovetop until they were bright green. She would then sprinkle them with Kosher salt and always sneak a spear or two for herself before she served them to the table. The vibrant color and first bite of the asparagus tip are what I remember most. Mmmm…there’s nothing like it!
These days, my preferred method of cooking asparagus is the same as almost every other vegetable – roasting. Whenever I serve asparagus as a side dish, I roast it for five to eight minutes until it’s golden brown with a crisp tender bite.
Over the years, I’ve experimented with asparagus in a variety of ways: blanched and added to crudités platters; incorporated into quiches and frittatas; grilled on skewers for veggie kebabs; and tossed into pasta dishes. While asparagus often is relegated to the side of the plate, there’s no reason it can’t take center stage as it does in this Asparagus Mint Salad.
The asparagus in this salad is cooked ever so slightly using the method of blanching. If you’re not familiar, blanching involves dropping the food into a pot of boiling water for about a minute (more or less depending on the food), followed by dunking it in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. I love blanching green vegetables like asparagus and broccoli because it brings out their bright green color and flavor while maintaining their crunchy bite.
Crisp and slightly sweet red onions, refreshing mint, bright lemon zest, and salty ricotta salata are added to the blanched asparagus and tossed in and bright and zesty lemon vinaigrette. Ricotta salata is an aged version of fresh ricotta that has a firm texture. If you can’t find it in your supermarket you can use feta cheese in its place.
This recipe will certainly get you in the spirit of spring and wake up your taste buds for the new season!
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Asparagus Mint Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Earthy asparagus is tossed with crisp red onions, refreshing mint, zesty lemon, and salty ricotta salata cheese in this Asparagus Mint Salad that will get you in the spirit of spring and wake up your taste buds.
Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Kosher
For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
For the Salad:
- 1 pound asparagus spears
- 1/2 red onion, sliced into thin half moons
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced mint strips
- 1 ounce ricotta salata, shaved with a vegetable peeler (Ricotta salata is an aged version of fresh ricotta and has a firm texture)
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.
- Snap off woody ends of asparagus spears, and cut on bias into 1-inch pieces.
- Blanch the asparagus: Bring a medium pot of water to boil; add asparagus and cook for 1 minute until bright green.
- Drain and run asparagus under cold water or shock in a bowl of ice water. Dry off asparagus and place in a medium salad bowl.
- Add sliced onion and mint to asparagus in bowl and toss with lemon vinaigrette.
- Serve salad with shaved ricotta salata on top.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Today's Dietitian magazine.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4th salad
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 156Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 371mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 5g
Is asparagus a spring favorite of yours?
What’s your favorite asparagus recipe?
Share with me in the comments section below!
Congrats! Love the new column 🙂 Asparagus anything is more than fine by me! This is giving me the motivation to whip up some new asparagus recipes!
Thanks so much Alanna! I’m with you – love anything with asparagus! Hope you enjoy it while it’s in season!
Congrats Jessica! This salad is such an awesome way to debut your column!
Thanks so much Sonali! Much appreciated!
Congrats on becoming a contributor with TD!! So well deserved… I can’t wait to read more of your delicious articles!
Thanks so much Katie! That means a lot!
How wonderful! Congratulations!!
Asparagus and mint are two of my favorite flavors but I don’t think I’ve ever put them together! This sounds so fresh and springy – and I’m always game for a new salad (especially since it’s National Salad Month!).
Thanks so much Amelia! It’s really such a yummy combo – hope you’ll give it a try!
Congrats Jessica! That’s awesome. And the asparagus sound delicious!
Thank you melanie!!
very unique salad! perfect for summer!
Congrats on Today’s Dietitian! That’s awesome. This recipe looks delicious!
Thank you so much Heather! I hope you give the recipe a try!
Congrats on your new gig-so awesome!! And this salad looks amazing-I love all the flavors going on here, and can’t wait to make this!
Thanks EA! Let me know what you think after you’ve tried it!!
We love asparagus at my house too, though I have never tried it with mint. This summer when my herb garden and asparagus is up, this is what I am trying first!
Can’t wait for you to try it Jodi! You’re going to love the flavor combo!
I love asparagus and lemon together!
It’s such a great pairing!
I loooove asparagus so this is my kind of salad! It looks like a great mix of flavors!
Thanks Liz. Hope you enjoy!
Congrats! This looks like a unique salad. I’m not a huge fan of straight up asparagus but this just may be a tasty way to eat it up.
Thanks Chrissy – let me know if you try it. I’d love to be able to turn a non-asparagus eater into one 🙂
i love asparagus if prepared correctly. this is definitely a MUST for spring, esp with mint.
The key is that it needs to be prepared correctly – I totally agree! Mmm…the mint is such a yummy addition!
CONGRATS on TD, this looks super fresh and delicious!!
Thanks Abbey! It’s both those things!
This looks so delicious! It would make a great addition to Easter dinner! Love it.!
Thanks Mikki – definitely a good one for Easter! Enjoy.
This recipe just screams spring and to be enjoyed outdoors.
Thanks Jill. I cannot wait to enjoy this salad on my patio…as soon as the snow melts!
Love this salad! Needless to say I had to pin it! 🙂
Thank you so much Ilka! So glad to hear that!
Wow! I love the flavor combinations in this salad! So perfect for spring!
Thanks so much Jacqueline! Hope you enjoy it soon!
I love simple salads like this that showcase seasonal veggies. AND there’s nothing better than some lemon flavor to bring out the best of asparagus!
Thanks Karen, I’m the same way. Love cooking based on what’s in season and salads are a great way to test the really fresh flavors. Enjoy.
This is the perfect warm weather salad with all my favorite flavors.
Now we just need the warm weather, lol! Hope you enjoy some and this recipe soon!
I love asparagus season! This salad welcomes spring so perfectly. Yum.
Me too! It always goes by too fast though! Hope you enjoy the salad soon.
Such an easy and simple salad to make. Love the flavors. I would like it for lunch.
Thanks Roxana. It really is so quick and easy to throw together. Hope you make it soon.