Our farmer’s market haul was full of springtime last weekend. Loads of strawberries, green garlic, french radishes, red springtime onions, and asparagus. Oh, did I mention the asparagus? Sweet, tender stalks that barely need to be cooked. This recipe for Springtime Asparagus Salad is a favorite of ours that we enjoy very often come April when it begins hitting the markets.
That being said the best time for asparagus, really is right now. The stalks are sweet and tender, melt in your mouth delicious. Towards the middle to end of summer the stalks tend to be thicker and a bit tough. So enjoy, often, right now! When I bring asparagus home, I snip off about 1/4 inch (the tough bottom part) of the stalks and then I place into a shallow jar of water and place in the refrigerator. I find this helps keep it fresher and plumper, as well it will last a little longer.
This salad recipe is actually made by taste, but I made it using measurements to make it easier for you. Feel free to adjust according to your taste buds. It kind of screams spring/summer eating with the flavors of lemon, mint, spring onions and one of our favorite seasonings Piment d’Ville Basque Red Chile which gives the recipe a little-added flavor that explodes with the other seasonings. The asparagus is only cooked enough to warm and is still crunchy with each bite.
1 bunch of fresh asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 small red spring onion, finely minced (about 1 tablespoon)
3 small sprigs of fresh mint, finely minced
1/2 small lemon
1/2 teaspoon piment d’ville basque pepper or you can use paprika (highly recommend the piment d’ville)
Preheat oven to 425.
Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle the kosher salt and black pepper over the top.
Place into the oven and roast for 5 minutes. Turn the asparagus, and then roast for another 3 – 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stalks.
Remove from the oven and place the asparagus onto a serving platter.
Scatter the mint and onion over the top, then squeeze the lemon over it.
Sprinkle with the piment d’ville.