A lemony dressing mingles with crisp asparagus, black olives, and feta cheese in this Greek inspired spring salad.
One of the true signs of spring, asparagus is the first fresh veggie we get to enjoy at the beginning of the growing season. The crisp stalks and bright color get us so excited for the coming season full of fresh veggies.
When selecting asparagus, choose firm, straight, that are bright in color and have tightly-closed tips. Dull color, limp stalks, or dry ends are a tell-tale sigh of asparagus that is anything but fresh.
Choosing stalks that are similarly uniform in thickness will insure they all cook at the same rate. And remember, bigger is not better. Thick stalks are more mature, and have a more robust texture and stronger flavor, while thin stalks are younger and will be more tender and sweet.
If you can, store the asparagus upright in a jar with an inch of water at the bottom. Or, wrap the ends in a damp paper towel before wrapping the stalks in a plastic bag. Store the spears in the refrigerator for two to three days.
Rinse your asparagus just before cooking. Then, hold the spear at the cut end and near the middle and bend it gently. This will cause the tough, woody end to snap right off. The woody section is the plant’s reaction to cutting, so the fresher the asparagus, the smaller the woody portion will be.
There are many ways to cook asparagus, including blanching, roasting, sauteing, and grilling. For this salad we lightly steamed the asparagus until the color was vibrant. This gives the spears a little more tenderness, while still keeping their fresh crispness. And, it lets them show off their color in the salad.
- 1 lb asparagus, woody ends removed
- 1 Roma tomato, diced
- ½ c black or kalamata olives, sliced
- ¼ red onion, sliced and quartered (roughly ¼ c)
- 1 oz feta cheese
- ½ small lemon, zested and juiced (roughly 1 Tbsp juice)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp oregano, dry
- ¼ tsp marjoram, dry
- ¼ tsp basil, dry
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Chop the asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Place the pieces in a small saucepan or steamer basket with ¼ cup of water. Steam for 1-2 minutes, until brightly colored and still crisp. Immediately, plunge the asparagus into a cold water bath to stop them from cooking any further. Drain the asparagus and pat dry.
- Place the drained asparagus in a large bowl with the diced tomato, olives, and red onion.
- In a small bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat. (The salad can be made ahead of time up to this point and refrigerated for up to 12 hours to let the flavors come together.)
- Before serving, sprinkle the salad with crumbled feta cheese.
With the approach of Earth Day and National Picnic Day, the Sunday Supper crew is sharing recipes perfect for spring picnics today. Thanks to T.R. of Gluten Free Crumbley for hosting this week’s event.
- Caprese Skewers by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Crisp Cucumber Salsa with Southwest Style Chips by Momma’s Meals
- French Onion Dip, with Greek Yogurt by Casa de Crews
- Mediterranean Spiced Hummus by Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Pepperoni Pinwheels by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Watermelon Salad by annaDishes
- Blackberry Lemonade by The Redhead Baker
- Blueberry Mojito Mocktails by NeighborFood
- Grandma’s Stuff by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Minty Cardinal Punch by Food Lust People Love
- Pineapple Ginger Lemonade Spiked with Turmeric by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Sangria Punch by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Strawberry Pineapple Lemonade by Noshing With The Nolands
- Avocado Sriracha Egg Salad by Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
- Barbecue Ranch Quinoa Chicken Salad by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Boneless Chicken Wings by Nosh My Way
- Burger Ice Cream by Brunch with Joy
- Chicken Salad Sliders by Life Tastes Good
- Spanish tortilla by Caroline’s Cooking
- Broccoli & Tomato Pasta Salad by Flour On My Face
- Buffalo Macaroni Salad by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Couscous Veggie Salad with Pesto by Cooking Chat
- Fully Loaded Baked Potato Salad by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- Granola Salad by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Greek Style Asparagus Salad by Curious Cuisiniere
- No Mayo Slaw with Poppyseed Dressing by Palatable Pastime
- Spiralized Beet and Goat Cheese Salad by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Sweet and Tangy Brussels Coleslaw with Fennel, Chopped Apples and Golden Raisins by Simply Healthy Family
Soups and Salads:
- Barley and Rice Salad by Family Foodie
- Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Dried Cranberries by Food Done Light
- Layered Mason Jar Pasta Salad for Two by The Weekend Gourmet
- Smoked Turkey Salad by Our Good Life
- Spinach Salad with Apples & Pecans in an Apple Balsamic Vinaigrette by Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen
- Nicoise Salad by The Petit Gourmet
- Bacon-Bulleit Brownies by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Fudgey Coca Cola Cake by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Earth Day Cupcakes by Savory Experiments
- Gluten Free Cookie Bars by Gluten Free Crumbley
- Lemon Lime Pound Cake by Vintage Kitchen
- Lemon Yuzu Cookies by NinjaBaker.com
- Mini Lemon Chess Pies by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- No-Bake Cookie Butter Chex Mix Bars by Wallflour Girl
- Peanut Butter Bars by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Peanut Butter Carob Bars by Pies and Plots
- Sourdough Chunk Cookies by What Smells So Good?
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