Asparagus Salad Recipe

Inspired by the new farmers market up the street from my house, I made this sauteed asparagus and broccolini salad. Finished with slivered radishes, a chunky lemon-pinenut dressing, and a bit of shaved Parmesan it works alongside pasta, topped with poached eggs, or, on its own.

Asparagus Salad

There is a new weekly farmers' market just a few blocks from my house. I love it. I walk out my front door, cross the park, and make my way along tree-lined Noe Street until I see the little pop-up stalls. It's just the right size - not too big, not too small. Inspiring without being overwhelming. I came home the other night with a basket overloaded with all things spring and made this asparagus salad. Nothing fancy, the asparagus and broccolini got a quick stint in a hot skillet along with a bit of olive oil - just long enough to take that raw edge off. Then it was out of the skillet and onto a platter along with some sliced radishes, a chunky lemon-pinenut dressing, and a bit of shaved Parmesan. Tasty. I'm going to make it again tomorrow and serve it over some (pan-fried) scallion gnocchi I have in the refrigerator.

Asparagus Salad Recipe

Welcome to the neighborhood Happy Boy Farms, Serendipity Farm, Shelly's Garden, organic asparagus guy, grumpy French baker guy, and everyone else who is a part of the new market. If only I could get my favorite Massa almond butter and Hodo tofu I might never have to leave the neighborhood ;)...

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Asparagus Salad Recipe

A few notes - for fun I cut the asparagus into coin-shaped pieces here, so they'd match the radish slices. It's a bit of extra prep, but worth the effort. And then there's the dressing. The dressing is lemony and bright, and a bit like a coarsely chopped pesto minus the basil. You could certainly add chopped basil later in the season (or mint) for a variation. I have you make a bit extra with this recipe in case you need a bit extra for pasta, grains, or salad greens that you might serve over, under or around this. Vegans, you can make this by leaving out the Parmesan.

12 spears of thick asparagus, sliced into 1/4-inch thick coins
5 - 6 broccolini (or broccoli) florets, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
big pinch of salt
1 small shallot, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted, and coarsely chopped

7 tiny radishes, washed trimmed and very thinly sliced
zest of one lemon
a bit of shaved parmesan

Wash the asparagus and broccolini well and set aside. Make the dressing by whisking together the lemon juice, salt, shallot and olive oil. Stir in the pine nuts. Set aside.

To cook the asparagus, place a splash of olive oil along with a couple pinches of salt in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add the asparagus and broccolini. Toss well and cover the skillet with a lid. Cook for one minute. Stir again, taste a piece, and cover again for another minute - but only if needed. You don't want to overcook the vegetables here, they should be bright and with a bit of bite to them. When the vegetables are cooked, remove them from the heat and stir in the radishes and lemon zest. Taste, add a bit of salt if needed. Toss with 1/3 of the pine nut dressing, adding more as needed - as I mention up above, you might have a bit extra.

Turn everything out onto a platter and finish with some shaved Parmesan.

Serves 2 - 3.

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I made a variation of this combined with the recent orzo salad this past weekend–just-cooked asparagus, spinach, thin-sliced radishes, orzo, crumbled feta, lemon juice, chopped pecans and orzo, topped with some dried cranberries. What a hit!
I love all the salads as the weather warms up.


Now it doesn’t get any yummier than this!
It’s absolutely delicious!!
I just can’t express how my family members relished this one and that really made me so very happy…thank you so much for such a wonderful recipe!

Salad Recipes

YUM! I just made this for 9 guests and they devoured it. I will add it to my favorites as a crowd pleaser.

victoria Allman

I definitely have to try this recipe. My kids hate asparagus so I will have to cook it when its just me and hubby.

Gourmet Mama

I made this tonight & added some warm lentils to make it stretch a little further (as well as for a bit of protein). I also added garlic scapes to the broccolini/asparagus blend.


I started to make this the other day with radishes from my garden. I quickly realized I was out of asparagus and broccoli. After a quick trip to the farmer’s market and a substitution of Chinese broccoli we had a wonderful sidedish to our bison. And leftovers for lunch! Thanks!


Just a quick update: I took the leftovers in for lunch today — put it over some grilled romaine with a wild rice salad. Great lunch. Dressing is even better today. Thanks again for a keeper.

grateful parm

I loved this. I switched it up and steamed the veggies and the natural flavors af all the ingredients compliment each other well. It’s also good the day after for a nice cold salad. Thanks Heidi!


I loved this recipe – so easy and tasty. I had some freshly dried cranberries from my local farmer’s market and added them as a garnish.


I’m doing a complete cook on the grill dinner this Saturday for Foodbuzz and was needing a new recipe for a salad – I’m going to grill romaine lettuce and top it with grilled asparagus and your pine nut dressing. Should be a hit! (Pics and details of all the courses will be on my blog on Sunday if anyone’s interested!)

Michele Morris

Served the buckwheat cake last night with some baked plums and whipped cream with a little maple syrup in it to 13 ladies. They loved it. We watched a movie called Blindsight btw which is about some blind Tibetan children who attempted to climb a mountain in the Himalayas – very inspirational.


This is excellent! I did not have lemons but used (the last of) grapefruit instead. It is great. I’m eating it right now over my leftover buckwheat cake and can’t wait to have leftovers tomorrow for lunch. Thanks for such a great and flexible dish.

grateful parm

Asparagus, broccoli and radishes—I’d never thought to combine them, but it sure looks like a natural here.


I have some beautiful asparagus in my fridge and I was looking for a new way to prepare it. This looks delicious!

Cookin' Canuck

Loved this dish! Made it for dinner last night and I’m forwarding the recipe on to family and friends. I included mint which I think made the dish. I’m having the small amount leftover for lunch. Thanks so much!


Wow this salad looks so delicious. Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to try it out.

Angela (Oh She Glows)

Wonderful, springy and fresh. How wonderful that you have a farmer’s market so close. Love the radish/asparagus/broccoli combo–I’m making this tonight!


i grew up in your neighborhood many moons ago on clipper street between noe and sanchez; in the days that cesar chavez street was army street. having lived in hawaii since the 70’s, i have to tell you it is most enjoyable to hear of your noe valley life through your recipes. thanks so much…i am inspired!
HS: Thanks for the note Tav. The foggy summers are still the same 😉


Another amazing post. I can’t wait to make this on the weekend and I’m off to try to Buckwheat Cake as well.
Thank you for sharing and inspiring…I feel like I’m so motivated to cook well for my family after I read your posts.

Mixing Bowl Mama

This is delicious! I’m eating it right now. In fact, I think I may eat the whole bowl….


simple preparation of fresh local ingredients–you can’t go wrong with that!


Inspired by this, I substituted fiddleheads for the broccolini and tossed in a bit of fresh spring garlic to the dressing. It was absolutely divine! Will definitely make this again. Thanks for the continued inspiration.


I absolutely loved this recipe – was so delicious and tasty, even with regular broccoli and radishes from boring old Safeway (our farmer’s markets are not quite bustling with fresh produce yet!). I loved it so much that I have recommended it to my readers 🙂

Renegade Calgarian

This looks so crisp and green and spring and wonderful! Our Farmer’s market is just opening this week. Can’t wait to see what’s in store!


I’ll be so sad to say goodbye to asparagus season. I especially love the ultra-skinny stalks, sigh. On to Heirloom Tomatoes I suppose!

Feast on the Cheap

Radishes leaves can also be used. Just wash and chop.


Wonderful! I have some fresh asparagus waiting for me in the fridge when I get home. This will be perfect.


I’m not crazy about asparagus, but the rest of the salad sounds mouth watering! I think I’ll just substitute extra broccoli, instead.

Craft Stew

I love any recipe with radishes, my husband loves them and grows LOTS of them. Perfect.


Asparagus is about the only thing we’ve consistently bought at the farmers market; I guess not much else is in season yet. But I’m not complaining; I love it. The salad sounds great and I love a simple lemon juice and oil dressing. I just made farmers market asparagus ragout and it was the best vegetarian meal I’ve ever made (it’s only been 2 months though)!

Matt (NoMeatAthete)

My sister recently referred me to your blog and I’m hooked already! Everything looks so delicious. I think I might try this recipe for dinner tonight.
Keep the recipes coming, I’m excited to see so many delicious veggie options–as well as your desserts, which look like they will definitely satisfy my sweet tooth:-)


Thanks for the head’s-up on the new market . . . I feel like we are living in farmers’ market heaven, with so many, so close. Almost every neighborhood seems to have one!


I love that your recipes are so mix-and-matchable! I’m not usually very creative but maybe it’s something about the longish ingredients list or the less-than-picky descriptions, but your entries always leave me feeling inspired, brave, and a little experimental. It doesn’t always work out, but this time it was delicious!
I had some tofu and some leftover rice so I made this into a light fried rice dish (with not tooo much rice). I didn’t have regular radishes so I used daikon sprouts and they were yummy too. This recipe was a hit in my tiny household!


Wonderful again. The only problem – a minute was a little too long, for the veggies (I think I gave them too much of a saute before the minute.) Love those early (in Seattle) spring veggies!


I love fresh green salads. This looks so timely and yummy.
Also I was wondering if it would be possible to include metric as well as US cups like in the last cake?? I am an American but after using metric for so long in Japan, it is just so much more logical and easy. I am still surprised that Americans still resist the metric system. Believe me, weighing flour is much more accurate than the old dip and scrap method…


I’ve never known that we can make a salad from Asparagus. I usually stir fry it. Thank you very much for this recipe. -Green


Just made this tonight. Absolutely delicious. So healthy and so tasty Thank you!


i have read your column but never tried a recipe
Until yesterday and today: Now we are 2 for 2 absolutely loved the asparagus salad, and the Buckwheat Breton Cake is phenomenal.
PS I also loved your reading list.
Keep up the good work, thanks from Canada
HS: Welcome to the site Val.

Val from Cambridge

I love this! And I am eating almost the exact same salad right now as I read this.

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen)

I love this! And I am eating almost the exact same salad right now as I read this.

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen)

broccolini is so cute! even the name. hehe.
yummy salad!


hi heidi,
i am pretty sure you were at jury duty the same week as i was? i heard your name called and i think i saw your from a far. i wanted to say “i love your book & weekly emails” ! hopefully you got out of jury duty.
anyhow, thanks for the amazing recipes and the constant inspiration. my daughter emilia starts preschool in the fall and the school requires parents to make vegetarian lunches – which we were thrilled about. we actually had to sign a nutrition agreement. we were thrilled of course and your website and weekly recipes are just what we need when we run out of ideas for what to make.
thank you!!!! -gina
HS: That was me! it would have been fun to meet you. I did get excused from that case. Good luck to Emilia in the fall – what a pretty name.


A nice substitute for the radishes might be DAIKON, especially when the radishes may get a little too hot near the end of the growing season. Since radishes are part of the mustard family, the end of the season (shortening of days) brings out their family’s characteristic hotness (though some varieties seem hot all year). Anyway, daikon is a great salad radish. I use it all the time in my salads (peel with a potato peeler then dice or slice) and daikon is ALWAYS never hot, but subtle flavored and very crunchy (well, if you choose the firmest or hardest daikon you can find — and never buy soft or flabby diakon, though the taste is OK, it’s such a shame to not have that wonderful crunch in a salad)!
Also, since pine nuts are quite pricey for many of us, SUNFLOWER SEEDS are what I often substitute (even in pesto).


I did a similar asparagus salad a few nights ago but I grilled the asparagus first with olive oil, salt and pepper. Just adds another layer to it! Great salad.


This sounds like the perfect summer salad. Thanks for the great recipe! Can’t wait to try!


Perfect timing – I have 5 bunches of asparagus and about that many radish bunches from our CSA (I used two bunches of asparagus yesterday for you asparagus pesto posted on Simply Recipes- totally delicious!). I’m going try it without the broccolini since I have none and I think it will still be fabulous.


Wow Heidi,
What I love the most about this site…
…watching you take simple, natural and healthy ingredients and making delicious meals out of them.
I feel inspired to get cooking.
Keep up the great work.


This looks so refreshing. I love the flavor of pine nuts with broccoli and I can imagine how wonderful the flavors marry in this recipe. I think I’m off to the farmer’s market to get the ingredients for this recipe!

Sarah (Coffee Beans and Curry Leaves)

All of spring, ‘dressed’ and ready for the taking – yum! Will we see you at Food BlogHer? HOPE so…
HS: I’m going to try – I’m working out my summer travel plans and hope to be in town on that week. Not 100% sure yet.

Cook 4 Seasons

Sounds awesome – inspiring, as always! And perfect timing with the radishes. Our garden is just starting to harvest and they are quickly accumulating, so I’m on the lookout for new ways to use them. I will probably saute them along with the asparagus, though. I tried that for the first time the other night in a frittata and they were wonderful. It really mellowed them out, but still had somewhat of a firmer texture.
Thanks Heidi!

Jamie M

Wow – lucky you with the perfect market so close!

Traci (Soup of The Day)

some fresh bay shrimp would be excellent added to this recipe


Made this tonight even though the ingredients were flown in rather than fresh from a Farmer’s market (non-existant when you live in a desert country). I added the mint which was delicious – another Middle Eastern touch. I couldn’t stop eating this – very addictive. New to this site and really enjoying it.


love the radishes and rabe with the asparagus!


I just did a post about my farmers market obsession. Unfortunately, all of my visits have been a bust. Isn’t there something fantastic about grocery shopping at an outdoor market? This salad sound great!

nithya at hungrydesi

This is such a fabulous seasonal salad. Last weekend I took a trip up to Blue Hill at Stone Barns and had something similar with the most precious little stalks of baby asparagus. For the vinaigrette, they simply pureed some of the asparagus with mint, olive oil, and a bit of lemon for acidity. I’m going to try and recreate it tonight, and when I do, you can find the recipe here:
In the meantime, I’ll be thinking of this lemony pinenut dressing. yum.
Happy Eating!

Phoebe, The Quarter-Life Cook

This looks divine! I did a similar recipe to this a couple weeks ago but more on the summer time salad avenue, this looks like a more savory dish, can’t wait to try! Thanks!

Organic Goodness

Thanks for this recipe, Heidi – the perfect inspiration for spring. I wish I had a farmers market like that a couple of blocks from my house!

Tracey Ryder

I love this salad, it has all of my favourite ingredients.
I love your site.
Thanks for sharing.


I am going try this recipe raw it sounds awesome!!!!!


This recipe happens to contain just about everything I was planning to make dinner with tonight and coincidentally have in the fridge. Perfect timing!


A new farmers market just opened a few blocks from my house, too! I share your excitement!


This looks so fresh. I can’t wait until the asparagus starts popping up here. I like your idea of adding the radishes for a subtle bite of spicy. So for now I wait…

Marissa Makes

What a flavorful, crunchy, and versatile salad. Your recipes are always full of vitality.
Right now in Chile, we are sans asparagus as it’s fall. However tonight I am going to give this a try using some tender broccoli.
And you’re right, with a farmers market in your own hood, you won’t need to stray far. 🙂
Tchau, Liz

Liz Caskey

Truly lovely. I love asparagus season and I am learning to love radishes 🙂


Great salad – I love the just “not raw” vegetables!

Rita Cotter

How funny: the baker at our farmer’s market is extremely grumpy too! Sounds delicious.




Gorgeous, just gorgeous. Love the idea of this, esp with mint.


thanks for the recipe of asparagus salad…i love it
i love vegetables……and i try it,,thank you for sharing it.

jing regidor

what a wonderful recipe … I’ll try with chopped mint !! thank you for sharing !!


I’e to go to my market this morning (fridge is empty after the weekend!). I put on my list asparagus and brocolis to try your recipe. I’ll try with fresh basil: I’we got a pot from “Provence” last weekend… Mmmm! Thank you sharing.

Dominique (de vous à moi...)

This flavor combo sounds yummy! I like the idea of adding in thinly sliced raw radishes to the lightly cooked spring veggies. My 1 year old twins devour lightly sauteed asparagus and broccolini (with lots of garlic).

Ali (Whole Life Nutrition)

I love your bright, crisp salads! I’ve made the broccoli crunch and peanut noodle a few times for myself and to share. I love everything in this, so I think I’ll add it to the collection, too! Fantastic news about the little market. We have one that rotates Fridays, but I’m never able to get the schedule right!


it looks so refreshing n crisp , i can have it for a meal………i discovered your site very recently n became a fan already.

sangeeta khanna

Your recipes are so versatile that even if I did not have the exact ingredients listed in your recipe , I could use what I have and still have a great dish. I wish I had fresh tofu at my farmers market! So lucky!!

seaweed snacks

I have been your avid reader for quite sometime and have tried out most of your asparagus recipes, I love them all ….especially the stir fry with mint.
This is another wonderful creation…keep em coming.


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