Wow, your guests at your next dinner party with this easy-to-make Baby Asparagus Salad. We have combined the crispiness of tender baby asparagus, with the creamy tang of lemon-infused ricotta. It's a match made in culinary heaven! So easy to prepare but oh so heavenly.
The delicate grassy flavour of the fresh baby asparagus is just magic with the creamy, lemony ricotta in this salad, a wonderfully elegant salad that is easy to prepare.
This antioxidant-rich salad is also very low-carb, gluten-free and keto-friendly.
You Will Need
How Much Should I Cut Off My Asparagus?
Let's just put a large pot of water to boil first as we are going to be blanching them later for our salad.
- Hold the asparagus about halfway down the spear.
- Then bend the stalk until it snaps.
- Use this stalk as a guide to cut the rest of your asparagus stalks by lining them up.
- Once lined up cut the ends off with a sharp chef’s knife.
Step 1 - Blanch Asparagus
Step 2 - Prepare Lemon Ricotta
Step 3 - Strain and Cool Asparagus
Step 4 - Assemble Salad
🍽 Serving Suggestions
As this salad has subtle flavours, I would pair this salad with white meats such as chicken, pork or seafood, especially good with salmon. We served ours with a whole baked salmon.
Tips & Questions
When is Asparagus in Season?
Even though you might find asparagus in stores throughout the year, springtime is when it is in season and at its peak. This means that not only does it look amazing and gorgeously bright green, but it is at its nutritional best.
Springtime is also when you are most likely to come across adorable little bunches of baby or 'mini' asparagus at your supermarket, greengrocer or farmers market.
'Mini' asparagus is just the small asparagus from the asparagus plant. These cute little stems are just 10 cm (4 inches) long and light green in colour. They have a subtle taste and a much more delicate flavour than larger asparagus does.
What is Baby Asparagus?
The main difference between baby asparagus and regular asparagus lies in their size and maturity.
- Baby asparagus is harvested when it's young and tender, while regular asparagus is allowed to mature for a longer period.
- Baby asparagus is thinner and more delicate, while regular asparagus is thicker and more robust.
- Baby asparagus has a milder, sweeter flavour, whereas regular asparagus has a slightly stronger and more pronounced taste.
- Baby asparagus cooks quickly due to its size and tenderness, while regular asparagus may require a slightly longer cooking time.
Can I Make It Ahead?
This salad is perfect for entertaining as you can prepare most of its components the day before and just simply assemble it on the day.
You can blanch and cool your asparagus, prepare the lemon ricotta, place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a glass jar and store them covered in your fridge.
On the day, dress your asparagus and arrange it on a salad platter with the lemon ricotta on the side.
What Can I Do With the Leftovers?
In the unlikely event that you have leftovers, they will keep covered for 3-4 days in your fridge.
You can stir leftovers through some pasta or use them as a frittata filling for an easy lunch or dinner the next day.
Keen to try more asparagus salads?
- 550 grams baby asparagus or standard (5 mini or 2 medium bunches, 19.4 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup fresh ricotta (approximately 250 grams / 8.8 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
- In the meantime, rinse your baby asparagus under cold running water and cut off the woody part of the stems.
- Blanch until tender approximately 2-3 minutes for the baby asparagus and slightly longer for the long asparagus 4-5 minutes.
- Remove immediately when done and refresh in cold water so that it remains a bright green colour, then leave in your colander to drain well.
- Add the ricotta, half of the lemon zest and a pinch of sea salt to a mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
- Alternatively, blitz in a small food processor with 1-2 tablespoons of milk or water until smooth.
- Place your asparagus in a large mixing bowl add your olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and toss until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
- Arrange your asparagus on one side of a salad platter then smear the ricotta on the other side. Sprinkle the additional lemon zest on top and serve.