Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Asparagus Salad

Our unusually cool (sometimes cold) and wet spring has meant that asparagus has been late to the table around here.  The local farmer's market opened on Saturday.  Alas, I was going to miss the opening as I 
had an early morning meeting.  Even worse, the weather report was for morning storms!!  Thank goodness they never materialized and, from the looks of neighbors strolling by our house until well after noon toting baskets laden with spring offerings, the market was a success.  I directed The Baker to visit  our favorite farmer (LE Gardens) and bring home a "mess" of asparagus.  He gave me a strange look as I'd never used "mess" to describe how much of something.  It is a southern term that I heard often growing up.  I don't know how much a "mess" is to this day.  Do any of you?  He arrived home with a little over a pound of freshly picked, and very welcomed, asparagus.  

We've been enjoying this salad for years.  By adding the tomatoes, basil and onions to the warm asparagus, the tomatoes give up some of their juices that blend with the dressing.  

Asparagus Salad

1 pound asparagus, cut in bite sized pieces (an inch or so)
5 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, including some of the tops
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, julienned


Whisk together:

1/4 cup good olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt.  Add asparagus, cover and simmer for three minutes.  Immediately drain but do not rinse with cold water.  Instead, stir the tomatoes,  green onions and basil into the warm asparagus.

2.  Add the dressing and serve immediately or chill.



  1. That salad looks divine! And the term "mess of something" was a commonly heard term in my life. My Nana and Mom are from the South. And I could write a book on Southern terms. I find myself using many of them, myself.
    Right now, I have a "mess" of squash in my garden. And another "mess" of pumpkins growing in my yard!!!
    xo Kris

  2. I've never met an asparagus I didn't like...same thing with shrimp! Thanks for visiting with me and thanks for not calling out the FBI!

    XO, Bonnie

  3. That looks so good, Bonnie, and I would love some of that!!!!! Made my mouth water--just reading the recipe...

    Someone on a blog talked about getting fresh asparagus in their yard --and how good it was. Made me want some!!!! It's so much better than the stuff we buy here in the store.

    Our area is starting a Farmers Market on Wednesdays --and I want to go. MAYBE I can get some fresh veggies and fruits... HOPE!!!


  4. daddy was always telling mother to make up a mess of fish, or a mess of collards... i always thought it was because both of those make such a mess to make....and i just thought they always call the military cafeteria a mess hall... then i googled mess and there is so much there i got out quick and will just stay with what you said here.

  5. Bonnie I love asparagus salad and this look delicious!

  6. I have heard the term too! Especially on "The Beverly hillbillies". I think it means a LOT, because they fix big messes for company. Would you believe I have never tried asparagus? We have a lot of the white here, does it taste different? I also bet it is not as good for you because usually the more colorful, the healthier.

    1. I think you might be right about the white not being as nutritious though don't know that for certain. The taste is very similar but the white is much more expensive than the green if you can find it at all. They are the same. As the growth starts, dirt is mounded around the spear to keep it from turning green.
      Personally, I think the green spear is more appealing to the eye.

  7. I could make a meal of this along with some really good bread.

  8. What a great salad and love the colorful tomatoes. I've heard of "a mess," but don't know how much a "mess" is. I suspect it is a lot.

  9. I might have to have a double mess of this! :)

  10. Your salad is beautiful! With our 90+ degree weather I was afraid the season was over and was thrilled to find some in perfect condition. Enjoy yours:@)

  11. So many of my favorite flavors in one salad. I made it to our Farmer's Market on Sunday. I was looking for local honey, as I have been hearing it helps with allergies. We will see.


  12. you know I have never ever put green onions together with asparagus and I am hitting myself because I haven't! It sounds just perfect together. The mild onion flavor with the nutty asparagus! I love it

  13. What a gorgeous salad. I love produce from the farmer's market. Hope you're getting some better weather there. Take care. :)

  14. That expression is new to me, but its easy to live in a southern city with so many northerners and not get the culture.

  15. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables... growing up, we only had them in springtime (and, yes, we had to gather a mess. LOL!). I love that fresh asparagus is available year round now, but none is as good as fresh from the garden (farmer's market or your own). blessings ~ tanna

  16. This has been quite the cool and rainy spring, hasn't it! I have not been to our farmers' market yet but I would love to come home with a mess of asparagus too :) I've heard the expression before and I does conjure up the south.

  17. I thought you might have visited Poplar Forest. They are starting to add some furniture, all hand made replicas of what was there. But the one room where there is an original fireplace will remain unfinished so one can see all the construction. Fascinating to see. They have not idea when it will be finished, as they have been working on it for over 20 years!

  18. Hi Bonnie, My husband loves asparagus. When he was a small boy growing up in MI, his grandmother grew it. This will be a perfect recipe for him since he is diabetic. Thanks.

    Interesting that you attended a lecture of the Paper Flowers book.

    Hope you have a great weekend.

  19. Growing up in Texas...a mess of greens was a common expression. I always thought it was as much as you could hold. A mess of asparagus prepared using your recipe sounds terrific.

  20. Sounds yummy especially for summer.
    I've always thought "a mess" of something
    was a lot!

    : o)

  21. We had a late spring here as well and finally the market is full of all the wonderful early produce we wait all year to get. Strawberries and asparagus are two of my favorites. Lovely salad, Bonnie, just the way we like it.

  22. Asparagus is one of my most favorite vegetables. Love served in this style with garden cherry tomatoes.


  23. I am pinning this. This sounds good with pasta or some grilled chicken, or all by its self.


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