Asparagus Salad with Reduced Balsamic Vinaigrette
Sometimes simple is just better. A few ingredients. A few minutes of your time. Nothing complicated.
That's how I feel about this asparagus salad. It's simple, and it's perfect because of it. The asparagus is lightly steamed, so it still has a little crunch (it is a salad, after all). A few greens, some goat cheese, a handful of crunchy pecan, a drizzle of dressing et voilà … ensalata!
Did you see what I did there? Switching on the fly from English to French to Spanish. Are my language skills not incredible? Joking!??
The truth is my French is embarrassingly terrible. I might be Canadian and supposed to be bilingual, but I clearly spent too much time thinking about what was in my lunchbox and not enough time paying attention in class.
My Spanish is better for sure, but that really does not say much. I've alway admired people who are fluent in several languages and can bounce back and forth between them effortlessly. Do you speak any languages besides English?
Asparagus salad to languages, how does that even happen? Back to asparagus salad.
I was telling you how simple this salad it, and it really is. The thing is that fresh local asparagus is so lovely and tender that it really doesn't need much. The reduced balsamic dressing gives it a slight sweet tangy without being overpowering. You're going to love it!
When you're choosing the greens for the rest of the salad, get as creative as you'd like. (Or totally not creative, no one's judging.)
When I was putting this together for the pics I had some baby kale, purslane, beet greens, radish tops and pea shoots that I mixed together. A box of store-bought mixed greens or spinach would be just as great. 🙂
You might notice that in the directions I call for pecans even though there are clearly no pecans in the pictures. That's because they were sitting in a small bowl hidden behind a bunch of photography stuff and props and other mess, and I totally missed them. Anyway, imagine this salad but sprinkled with lots of pecans over top. Yum! ?
If you make this Asparagus Salad, make sure to snap a pic and tag @theendlessmeal on Instagram. I love to see TEM recipes you guys create!Print
This simple asparagus salad is the perfect way to show off summer's tender asparagus and will take you only 15 minutes to make. You're going to love it!
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey (or sub maple syrup for strict vegan)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 small garlic clove, very finely minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Sea salt, to taste
For the salad
- 1/2 lb. asparagus, tough ends snapped off
- 4 cups mixed greens
- 1/4 cup basil leaves, torn
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans (preferably toasted)
- 1/4 cup goat cheese (omit for vegan)
- Bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small pan. Continue to boil the vinegar until it reduces by half.
- In a small bowl mix the reduced balsamic, honey, Dijon mustard and garlic. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Salt to taste.
- Bring a pan with 2 inches of water in it to a boil. Add the asparagus and simmer it for 2 minutes. Drain the asparagus and rinse it under cold running water then place it in a bowl full of ice and water. Drain and dry the asparagus once it is completely cold.
- Toss the asparagus with the dressing, greens, pecans and optional goat cheese and serve right away.