Foodie Friday: Asparagus Recipes

Asparagus, Tomato and Feta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Via Cooking Classy

Springtime always means delicious asparagus!   This tasty veggie is in season from late February through June. Generally, April is its peak month.  When choosing your asparagus look for bright green or purplish spears with firm stems. The tips should be closed and compact.  Now that you know what to look for, we've found some great recipes to try out!  Enjoy!

Asparagus, Tomato and Feta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Yield: About 7 servings

6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp honey
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 lbs fresh asparagus (preferably medium thickness), tough ends trimmed, remaining diced into 2-inch pieces
1 (10.5 oz) pkg. grape tomatoes, halved
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (scant 1 cup)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile prepare vinaigrette - add vinegar to a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat and allow to boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Pour into a jar or bowl, add olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, garlic and whisk to blend while seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.  

Add asparagus to boiling water and allow to boil until tender crisp, about 4 - 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile fill a medium mixing bowl with ice and cold water. Drain and immediately transfer asparagus to ice water, let rest about 10 seconds then drain asparagus well. Transfer to a bowl with tomatoes and walnuts. Drizzle vinaigrette over top and toss lightly. Sprinkle over half of the feta then plate and top with remaining feta (just so the feta doesn't brown from tossing with all the dressing).

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
Via Belle of the Kitchen

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
Author: Ashlyn at Belle of the Kitchen
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 8 mins
Total time: 13 mins
Makes: 4-5 servings

1/2 pound fresh asparagus
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 cloves minced garlic
2-3 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
Rinse the asparagus and trim off woody end pieces. Spread out in a thin layer on top of the prepared cookie sheet.
Spray the asparagus lightly with a coat of olive oil spray. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, and parmesan cheese. Use your hands to mix the asparagus with all of the ingredients, then lay out into an even layer again. Spray with one more light coat of olive oil.

Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Bow-Ties with Chicken and Asparagus
Via Betty Crocker

Bow-Ties with Chicken and Asparagus

4 cups uncooked bow-tie (farfalle) pasta (8 oz)
1 lb fresh asparagus spears
1 tablespoon canola oil 
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces SAVE $

1 package (8 oz) sliced fresh mushrooms (3 cups)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup Progresso™ reduced-sodium chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt, if desired
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (1 oz)

Cook and drain pasta as directed on package, omitting salt.

Meanwhile, break off tough ends of asparagus as far down as stalks snap easily. Wash asparagus; cut into 1-inch pieces.

In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in asparagus, mushrooms and garlic. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in center and vegetables are tender.

In small bowl, gradually stir broth into cornstarch. Stir in onions and basil. Stir cornstarch mixture into chicken mixture. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Season with salt. Toss with pasta. Sprinkle with cheese.

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