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A crunchy fresh asparagus salad with creamy lemon vinaigrette dressing, sweet peas, radishes, arugula and soft goat cheese. Serve this colorful salad with roasted salmon or chicken for the perfect taste of spring and summer!
This asparagus salad is a colorful mixture of fresh asparagus, radishes, sweet peas, baby greens and goat cheese, sauced with a creamy lemon dressing. It’s a perfect way to prepare asparagus for a spring or summer salad.
When it come to cooking asparagus you have so many options. Asparagus can be stir-fried, boiled, or steamed. And don’t forget perfectly sautéed asparagus, grilled, baked or roasted. But did you know that you don’t need to cook asparagus to use it in a salad?
Raw asparagus in salads
Raw asparagus has a snappy, crisp texture and mild, sweet flavor. It almost reminds me of the taste of young green fava beans or sugar snap peas.
- If you’re not sure that you’ll enjoy the flavor of raw asparagus, try this: Slice off a thin piece and taste it. When asparagus is super-fresh, it will taste sweet and refreshing.
- You can also make this salad with blanched asparagus — which means it’s very briefly cooked and immediately shocked in cold water to stop the cooking.
Ingredients you need for the salad:
- Fresh asparagus spears: You’ll need 1 large bunch (1 1/2 pounds).
- Radishes: Use what you can find at your market. Pastel-colored radishes or “breakfast” radishes taste the same as red ones and make a pretty salad.
- Sweet peas, either fresh shelled or thawed frozen.
- Green onions (or 1/2 a red onion)
- Crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese
- Chopped pistachios or almonds
- The lemon vinaigrette is made with olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest, wine vinegar, plain yogurt, sugar and salt.
How to prep asparagus for salad:
Asparagus is often shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler to use in salads. But it can be tedious work and you can’t really use the entire stalk. Instead, I’ve found that it’s much easier (and quicker) to thinly slice asparagus with a sharp knife.
Asparagus salad: Recipe steps
- Once you have sliced the asparagus, you can choose to make the salad without cooking or briefly boil it for 3-4 minutes along with the peas.
- Combine the lemon vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake it up until creamy and blended.
- Toss all the vegetables with the goat cheese in a large bowl and toss with the dressing.
- Sprinkle the salad with chopped nuts and a pinch of flaky sea salt and serve!
Fresh Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese
Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon plain Greek-style yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey or granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 cup shelled peas, fresh or frozen
- 1 ½ pounds fresh asparagus, washed
- 3-4 radishes, thinly sliced
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal or ½ red onion, sliced
- 2 cups baby arugula greens
- 3 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
- ¼ cup chopped pistachios or almonds, optional
Make the vinaigrette
- Put all the ingredients in a jar and shake to blend, or whisk everything in a bowl until smooth and creamy.
Assemble the salad
- Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus where they naturally break. Thinly slice the asparagus on the diagonal.
- Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and drop in the peas, as well as the asparagus if you're not serving it raw. Cook until the vegetables are tender and bright green, 3-4 minutes, then drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a serving bowl.
- Add the radishes, green onions, arugula and goat cheese to the bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Sprinkle with the pistachios or almonds and serve.
Karen’s Notes and Tips
- The vinaigrette dressing will keep 5 days refrigerated. Shake it up to blend before using.
- If you prefer not to serve the asparagus raw, blanch the slices in the same saucepan along with the peas.