Asparagus, Tomato, and Feta Salad With Balsamic Vinaigrette
Need the perfect healthy, gluten-free summer side dish? This asparagus, tomato, and feta salad is chock full of colorful vegetables and toasted walnuts and is an impressive dish to take to BBQs, potlucks, Memorial Day, 4th of July celebrations any summer gathering! ⟹
With Memorial Day approaching quickly, I’m starting to see lots of recipes for cookouts, 4th of July, and summer parties. And while the cute creative red, white, and blue patriotic sweets are usually the “star” of the meal, how about a showy salad as a healthy option to balance all of those desserts? If you’re searching for a side dish for your Memorial Day menu, I’m sharing this simple and delicious asparagus salad recipe that compliments almost any summer meal!
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What’s in Balsamic Asparagus, Tomato, and Feta Salad?
Aside from the ingredients in the name of this beautiful salad…asparagus, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette, there are lots of options!
For this recipe I’ve also included these ingredients to amp up the colors, flavors, and texture:
- Sweet mini peppers
- Red onion
- Black olives
- Toasted walnuts
Or here are even more ingredient ideas:
- Goat cheese instead of feta
- Add protein like chicken for a meal
It’s so versatile…just add or omit any of these or come up with some of your own!
I might have cheated on this step since I love shortcuts and used a ready-made balsamic glaze, but I’m glad I didn’t because this vinaigrette with balsamic reduction and a little sweetness added tastes amazing! My friend and hostess for the gathering I’m taking this to is extremely sensitive to gluten and sometimes balsamic glazes have something in them that makes her sick. So with that in mind, I went homemade on the vinaigrette and all of these ingredients were gluten free approved:
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
See the recipe card at the bottom for exact measurements and directions.
How to make this yummy Balsamic Asparagus, Tomato, and Feta Salad recipe.
Assembling this salad is easy and I was able to multitask the following steps and chop veggies while the oven was preheating for the walnuts, and make the vinaigrette while waiting for the water to boil.
- Chop and toast the walnuts: Coarsely chop the walnuts and toast them in a 375 degree oven for 5-6 minutes.
- Prep the veggies: Wash, slice, and chop all of your veggies.
- Cook the asparagus: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until crisp tender, about 4 or 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your asparagus.
- Cool the asparagus: While the asparagus is cooking, fill a large mixing bowl with water and ice. When the asparagus is done, submerge it in the ice bath for ten seconds to stop the cooking and maintain its bright green color.
- Make the vinaigrette: Reduce the balsamic vinegar by boiling it down by half for about 3 minutes and then whisk it and the rest of the vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl.
- Put together the salad ingredients: Layer or combine all of the ingredients for the salad in a bowl or on a platter. Since I was taking mine to a party, I wanted a pretty presentation so I arranged the asparagus tips around the rim of a white serving platter. Then I layered on the different colorful ingredients and finished with the feta. I topped it with a little special touch for Memorial Day…some cucumber stars! It only took a minute to punch out these cute stars from the cucumber slices with a star cookie cutter.
7. Add the vinaigrette: To finish it off I drizzled the balsamic vinaigrette over it all. If you put it on early, it will soak in a bit, but it is still tasty! But if you’d really like to be able to see it, wait until your gathering starts. (When everyone started making their plates, I did toss the salad a bit with the serving utensils to mix everything.)
Although this salad is perfect for summer, it’s also popular in the spring when asparagus is in season. If you need a couple of other recipe ideas for summer gatherings, check out my Summer in a Cup cocktail and my cold No Bake Eclair Cake dessert!
So let’s make this delicious Asparagus, Tomato, and Feta Salad!
Enjoy and let me know what you think and how you customized it!
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Asparagus, Tomato, and Feta Salad With Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 lbs fresh asparagus, break off the tough ends and cut into two inch pieces (I used two regular sized bunches)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved; (or 1/2 pint red and 1/2 pint yellow)
- 2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
- 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 5-10 mini red, yellow, and orange sweet peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
- Handful of greek kalamata olives, pitted
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- Toast the chopped walnuts in a 375 degree oven for 5-6 minutes.
- While the oven is heating, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Also in the meantime, make the balsamic vinaigrette. Bring the vinegar to a boil over medium heat in a small saucepan and let it boil until it is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
- Pour the balsamic reduction into a bowl, add the olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Add the trimmed asparagus to the boiling water and allow it to cook until tender crisp, about 4 minutes.
- While it is cooking, fill a medium mixing bowl with water and ice. When the asparagus is done, immediately submerge it in the ice bath to cool for 10 seconds and then remove it.
- Cut the asparagus into two inch pieces and add it and all of the rest of the prepped salad ingredients to a bowl or platter.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette over top and toss lightly.