Sometimes the Side is the Star – Roasted Asparagus Salad

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Roasted Asparagus Salad
Roasted Asparagus Salad

 Like the sweet trees blossoming, fresh tender asparagus brings springtime realization to our local markets and tables. My herb garden is surging with new growth as the oregano, sweet marjoram and chives explode with tender shoots. It doesn’t matter that we still have cloudy skies or days that seem as cold as winter. Our earth is warming up and our seasonal cooking takes a turn. Allemande right and away from the heavy comforts of stews and hearty one pot soups to lighter fare as our spirits lift in anticipation of warmer, longer days. Simpler and lighter doesn’t mean foregoing those robust flavors that play on your tongue, just new dancing partners switching it up in our kitchen rumba.

Tonight we finally break out the patio barbecue, marinate a very pretty little top sirloin “grilling roast”  and simply prepare roasted yukon gold parmesan potatoes. Now with little hip twist, progressive walk,  we take a sudden turn with this Roasted Asparagus Salad. Served room temperature with a rich anchovy and mustard vinaigrette drizzle.

On the wine list, Doce Robles Vineyards 2006 Sy-Rific-Cab, a 60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon smooth blend which compliments the steak and stands up to the herby garlic intensity of the salad.

Soup Herbs
Fresh Oregano, Sweet Marjarom, Thyme
In the pan, roasted asparagus
Roasted asparagus in the pan
Steak Dinner with Roasted Asparagus Salad
Dinner is Served!

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Roasted Asparagus Salad
Serves 4

l lb fresh asparagus
½ lb. cremini mushrooms or baby bellas
½ lb cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh Italian Oregano
2 tablespoons fresh Sweet Marjoram
2 tablespoons fresh Chives
2 tablespoons fresh, tender Rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil

Anchovy-Mustard Vinaigrette
In a small bowl whisk together:
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
¼ cup white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon course black pepper
⅓ cup olive oil
⅛ cup juices from roasted asparagus pan
Salt to taste

Wash asparagus to remove any grit, trim off woody ends. Rub mushrooms clean with damp paper towel and cut in half or thirds depending on size. Chop herbs, mince garlic.
Preheat oven to 400°

Lay asparagus in a single layer in a 9” x 13” baking pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, toss to coat thoroughly. In a medium bowl, add whole cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, herbs and garlic. Pour in 2 tablespoons olive oil, stir to combine. Pour mixture on top of asparagus. Roast in oven for 15 minutes, remove from oven and turn mixture over. Return to oven and continue roasting for 15 more minutes, until asparagus is fork tender  (a little less time if asparagus is thin.) Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. With slotted spoon, remove roasted vegetables and serve. Drizzle with Anchovy-Mustard vinaigrette.

More about Doce Robles Winery in Paso Robles, CA  see

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4 Responses to Sometimes the Side is the Star – Roasted Asparagus Salad

  1. Bentobird says:

    Fantastic–this post unfurls the poetry of spring eating! I’m picturing the oregano and chives exploding forth and its a lovely image, and I love the wonderfully savory approach to asparagus here.

    Hooray for fresh herbs, for springtime, and for having the awareness to savor this tender-bright season…have a wonderful late April week, Robin!

  2. Robin says:

    What a lovely comment, thanks so much… And a great week to you Jenn!

  3. Lyndsey says:

    Beautiful side show there! I like it when it becomes the star. Your herbs look wonderful. My mint and chives are coming back and even blooming…I was worried there for awhile. I have always been able to grow rosemary, marjoram and oregano. Thyme and cilantro not so much. I need to find some good looking sage to plant this year. I can’t wait to see more of your herb garden.

  4. Robin says:

    Hi Lyndsey,
    Thanks for your visit all the way from Florida! Appreciate your kind comment and hope your herbs come in like gangbusters. I’m waiting for my lemon thyme to reveal itself so hope you have good luck too. Looks like we have lots in common 😉

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