Asparagus, meet your new best friends, feta and lemon!
Every year for our anniversary I create a multi-course meal to celebrate the occasion. The only definite part of the menu is dessert, which is wedding cake with fruit filling and buttercream frosting. I shoot for a minimum of five courses. It always includes entrée, salad, and dessert, the other two dishes rotate between amuse bouche, appetizer, salad, and soup. What I have learned after nine years of making this dinner is that it should be elegant but also not require lots of last minute time in the kitchen. An anniversary isn’t as much fun when you should more than half your time cooking.
So, this year I crafted a menu that was indulgent but that allowed a good amount of the cooking to be done in advance. Some of the dishes were made the day before, and others were made in the morning. This salad falls into both.
This salad is representative of what I want in a special occasion meal. It is a salad that is more glamorous than your typical side salad, but it also is incredibly simple to make. Although not something I usually consider for a special meal, it also is relatively healthy as the dressing is simply lemon juice. No heavy, oily dressing for this salad.
One of the key pieces to consider in preparing this salad is that it should be thoroughly chilled, even the plates. Be sure to roast the asparagus at least a couple hours before you want to serve the dish. That way you can chill the asparagus, assemble the salad, and then chill each salad plate.
Whether you’re looking for a new salad for summer, another dish for a multi-course meal, or just are craving asparagus, this is a lovely recipe to try.
- 24 stalks asparagus
- 1 Tb. olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- ½ lemon
- 2-3 Tb. feta
- 1-2 Tb. sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Trim ends from asparagus
- Place on rimmed baking pan; drizzle with olive oil, toss.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 5 minutes.
- Transfer to small cutting board and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Cut asparagus into bite-sized pieces.
- Divide asparagus between two salad plates.
- Zest lemon half and sprinkle over asparagus.
- Juice same half and drizzle over asparagus.
- Top with feta crumbles and almonds.
- Chill individual salads for 30 minutes.