roasted asparagus salad with cherry tomatoes, halloumi cheese, and basil leaves on a platter next to a plate and flatware
Egypt Cooking

Easy roasted asparagus salad | The Mediterranean dish

Easy roasted asparagus salad recipe with tomatoes, basil and a light sherry vinaigrette! Add your favorite cheese, such as fried halloumi, crumbled creamy feta, or shaved Parmesan, or skip the cheese to keep this delicious roasted asparagus recipe vegan!

roasted asparagus salad with cherry tomatoes, halloumi cheese and basil leaves

Best roasted asparagus salad

Asparagus is one of my favorite spring vegetables. I’m a big fan of it no matter how it comes – sautéed with some lemon and garlic, grilled with other bright veggies, or even blanched (as long as it’s topped with a little Mediterranean-style salsa!)

But I especially love the convenience of tender roasted asparagus, which doesn’t require much more than a dash of salt, good extra virgin olive oil, and a hot oven to make! (I added some in addition to my favorite baked cod last night)!

In this recipe, tender roasted asparagus makes the perfect bed for a topping of fresh small tomatoes and basil with a clear sherry vinaigrette.

For me, this roasted asparagus salad is a show-stopping side, with or without a little cheese. I used fried halloumi over the asparagus, which gives the salad a bit of a unique and delicious twist. But you can also use feta, goat cheese or shaved Parmesan cheese. (To keep this asparagus recipe vegan, you can of course omit the cheese altogether).

Tips for the best oven-roasted asparagus

Roasting asparagus is one of the easiest things to do, but a few tips ensure tender spears that still have a good bite:

  • Thicker spears are better for roasting, but give it a try to buy spears of similar size. They cook at the same speed so you don’t have spears that are too soft or hard after roasting.
  • Trim the hard, “woody” root tips. The root end of the asparagus is usually white or very pale green and is very difficult and unpleasant to eat. Go ahead and trim those ends with a sharp knife or snip them off (just hold the end of the asparagus spear and bend until it breaks). The spear will serve as a guide to how much to cut off the rest of the asparagus. But I also think eyeballs work great.
  • Leave the trimmed spears whole for asparagus from the oven. First, it’s less prep work, plus you’ll get better results (gentle but not too soft). But if you prefer bite-sized pieces, you can cut them into smaller 2-inch pieces (just don’t cut them too small).
  • Using a large baking sheet, arrange the spears in a single layer. As with all roasted vegetables, you’ll get better results if your asparagus spears each touch the hot surface of the pan.
  • Use a hot oven! I like to make baked asparagus in a heated 400 degree F oven for perfectly tender results.
  • Oven roasted asparagus are ready when they are tender and crispy. In a hot oven, asparagus should take about 15 minutes, depending on the thickness. (The wafer-thin ones can cook in your hot oven for up to 7 minutes.) It should change from a bright green to a more olive green. You can tell if your asparagus is undercooked if it’s hard to pierce with a fork.

Asparagus salad ingredients and preparation notes

  • Asparagus. You will need about 1 pounds – Choose spears that are the same size (the thicker ones will do better in the oven). Cut off the hard end with a sharp knife.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – Use a good EVOO with a slightly peppery aftertaste.
  • Grape tomatoes – About 3 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved.
  • large basil leaves – Tear about 15 basil leaves (should be a good cup or so).
  • Cheese (optional) – I used fried halloumi, but many cheese options would work in this salad (see some ideas below). Or just omit it altogether for a vegan roasted asparagus salad.

The vinaigrette

The house-made vinaigrette is what brings this tomato-asparagus salad together. It is made from a few simple ingredients whisked together. You need:

  • Sherry Reserve Vinegar – You can also use white wine vinegar.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Our Hojiblanca EVOO is peppery and slightly spicy, adding the perfect depth to this sherry dressing.
  • Garlic – Just 1 clove of minced garlic is all you need.
  • Sumac – Optional, but I recommend this smoky astringent spice! It rounds out the flavors in this easy homemade vinaigrette.

This is how you make roasted asparagus salad

  • Prepare the asparagus. Clean 1 pound of asparagus and cut off the hard end of each spear. Place the asparagus on a large oiled baking tray. Season with kosher salt and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Toss to coat all asparagus in EVOO. Arrange the asparagus so that they are in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • Roast the asparagus on the center rack of a 400 degree F heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until soft but not mushy. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  • Make the vinaigrette and dress. Whisk together ¼ cup reserve sherry vinegar (or white wine vinegar), ¼ cup EVOO, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 teaspoon sumac, and kosher salt and pepper to taste. Combine 3 cups of halved grape tomatoes with the fried halloumi (if using) and toss with the sherry vinaigrette.
  • Collect and serve. Arrange the roasted asparagus on a serving platter. Garnish with the dressed tomato and halloumi mixture. Sprinkle over 15 large torn basil leaves and serve.

    roasted asparagus salad with cherry tomatoes, halloumi cheese and basil leaves on a platter next to a plate and cutlery

Cheese options for this salad

You can serve the oven-roasted asparagus salad absolutely vegan, but if you want to add cheese, you can try feta, goat cheese, shaved Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, or even fried halloumi, like I do in this recipe.

Fried halloumi is my guilty pleasure, and it makes this roasted asparagus salad recipe unique.

To add the halloumi, start by cutting 4 ounces of halloumi cheese into inch-thick squares. Fry the halloumi cheese in a large skillet with some EVOO heated over medium heat. You need to bake the cheese in batches, turning once for a minute or two. The cheese is ready when it is golden brown.

Making tips ahead

If you want to work ahead, cut your asparagus the night before and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also cut the grape tomatoes in half beforehand and also store them in the fridge.

The vinaigrette keeps well refrigerated, so make it the night before to save some time the next day.

roasted asparagus salad with cherry tomatoes, halloumi cheese and basil leaves on a plate

Serve it with

This beautiful roasted asparagus salad with many dishes. Serve it alongside a simple fish like baked cod. For a special spring dinner, I like to serve it alongside rack of lamb, salmon skewers or grilled chicken.

It’s also the perfect brunch item alongside a spicier egg dish like my fried egg dish or spicy potato omelette.

This roasted asparagus recipe is also a delicious, nutritious light lunch on its own.

Leftovers and Storage

This tomato-asparagus salad is best assembled and eaten right away, but the leftovers can keep for up to 3 days or so (it’s best to keep the cheese off the salad).

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Salad of roasted asparagus with grape tomatoes and fried halloumi cheese and basil

Salad of roasted asparagus with tomato and basil

Suzy Karadsheh

Easy roasted asparagus salad recipe with tomatoes, basil and a light sherry vinaigrette! Keep it vegan, or add your favorite cheese like fried halloumi, feta cheese or shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve roasted asparagus salad with fried codfishrack of lambsalmon kebabor grilled chicken† It’s also a light and nutritious lunch on its own!

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 20 minutes

Class Salad

kitchen Mediterranean

Portions 6 portions

calories 118.5 kcal

ingredients

For the Sherry Vinaigrette

instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  • Place the asparagus on a large oiled baking tray. Sprinkle with salt. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (toss to coat, making sure to spread asparagus in one layer.) Roast in heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

  • For the vinaigrette, whisk together the vinegar with the extra virgin olive oil, garlic, sumac, salt and pepper.

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the grape tomatoes with the cheese of your choice (if using) and toss them together with the sherry vinaigrette.

  • Arrange the roasted asparagus on a serving platter and garnish with the tomato-cheese mixture. Finally add the basil leaves. Enjoying.

Comments:

  • Cheese options: Skip the cheese to keep this salad vegan, or use some fried halloumi, creamy crumbled feta, or shaved Parmesan. (Note that cheese is optional and is not included in the nutritional information.)
  • If using halloumi cheese: Fry the halloumi squares in batches for 1 to 2 minutes, turning once. Remove from the heat when the cheese is golden brown. Let it rest on kitchen paper for a while to drain off excess oil.
  • Tips for roasted asparagus: Buy spears that are about the same size and be sure to cut off the hard, “woody” ends. Arrange the trimmed asparagus in a single layer on a large baking sheet so that each spear touches the hot surface. Bake in a hot oven. (Mine was heated to 400 degrees F.)
  • Tips to get ahead: TClean your asparagus overnight and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also cut the grape tomatoes in half beforehand and also store them in the fridge. The vinaigrette keeps well refrigerated, so make it the night before to save some time the next day.
  • Serving Tips: Serve roasted asparagus salad alongside a simple fish like fried codfish† For a special spring dinner I like to serve it next to rack of lambsalmon kebabor grilled chicken† It’s also the perfect brunch item alongside a spicier egg dish like my fried one egg casserole or Spicy Potato OmeletteThis roasted asparagus recipe is also a delicious, nutritious light lunch on its own.
  • Leftovers and Storage: This tomato-asparagus salad is best assembled and eaten right away, but the leftovers can keep for up to 3 days or so (it’s best to keep the cheese off the salad).
  • Visit our store to browse Mediterranean ingredients, including extra virgin olive oil and all-natural and organic spices (like the sumac used in this recipe).

Nutrition

Calories: 118.5kcalCarbohydrates: 7.5gProtein: 3.2gFat: 9.3gSaturated fat: 1.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6.6gSodium: 7.1mgPotassium: 414.6mgFiber: 3.3gSugar: 4.1gVitamin A: 1530.7IUVitamin C: 16.9mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 2.8mg

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