Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint

Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint. A recipe by It's Not Complicated Recipes.
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Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint. A recipe by It's Not Complicated Recipes.

In Australia, spring is almost here and I am happily anticipating being able to once again enjoy my Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint. When asparagus is plentiful and inexpensive I like to use it in as many ways as possible. Just a few of the ways I enjoy it are with pasta, in risotto, as a soup or simply roasted as a side dish. However, I also like it in a salad and this is one of my all-time favourites.

My Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint is a fresh and vibrant salad. By cooking the asparagus and tomatoes on the char-grill they acquire a slight, savoury smokiness. Also, the asparagus and tomato flavours are heightened as their natural sugars caramelise on the grill.  

Bowl of asparagus salad.

Some feta, tumbled over the top of the asparagus and tomatoes, brings salty, creaminess to the salad. I include two of my favourite flavour boosters here, lemon and mint. There are not many dishes that do not benefit from the inclusion of one or both ingredients. I use freshly squeezed lemon juice in the dressing and some finely grated lemon zest for additional flavour. The mint adds a fragrant, bright note. Finally, for textural contrast, I add some toasted, slivered almonds.

This fresh and lively salad is also packed with health-benefiting nutrients. Asparagus is very low in calories and is a good source of fibre, potassium and Vitamins A, C and K. Additionally, it is high in anti-inflammatory compounds and provides a wide variety of antioxidants. Charred cherry tomatoes provide further nutrition. They are a good source of Vitamins A and C, potassium and also contain powerful antioxidant properties.

Up close shot of salad.

Ingredients in my Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint:

Asparagus:

Asparagus is a spring vegetable grown for its young shoots or spears which are eaten as a vegetable. It is best to eat asparagus as soon as possible after you buy it. At the time of harvest, asparagus contains a great deal of sugar which quickly converts to starch. The sweet, tender stalks become bland and starchy with age.

Bunch of asparagus on wooden board.

Extra Virgin Olive oil:

Extra virgin olive is the highest grade of olive oil available. As well as adding great flavour to this salad, it has been proven to be a healthy fat and contains several health-benefitting antioxidants.

Glass jug of olive oil, pouring into a glass bowl. Set on wooden background.

Cherry Tomatoes:

Sweet cherry tomatoes are a great addition to this salad. The sweetness of cherry tomatoes complements the earthy flavour of asparagus.

Basket of cherry tomatoes, set on wooden background.

Feta:

I use Danish feta as it adds a lovely, creamy texture.
If you would prefer this dish to be vegan, you could certainly omit the feta, or substitute with a plant-based alternative.

Wooden bowl of feta, garnished with herbs.

Mint Leaves:

Mint is a favourite ingredient of mine. It is a great flavour booster and adds bright, fresh notes to this salad.

There are a number of health benefits to eating mint. It contains anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds along with Vitamins A and C together with manganese.

Sprig of mint, set on white background.

Slivered Almonds:

Blanched almonds have been sliced into little batons to produce slivered almonds. They are readily available in supermarkets.

You could make your own, but it is labour intensive. To begin, you soak the almonds in boiling water for a few minutes and then slide their skins off. Next, you split the almond in half lengthways. And finally, cut the almond halves into slivers.

Wooden bowl of slivered almonds.

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper:

I prefer sea salt. Regular table salt often contains additives. Pepper which is freshly ground has the best flavour.

Small white bowl of ground black pepper, and small white bowl of salt.

Lemon:

Lemon is a great flavour booster, adding bright, fresh, citrus notes. I use both the zest and juice in my Char-Grilled Asparagus and Feta Salad.  

Wooden bowl of lemons, set on wooden base.

Sugar:

Use a small amount of sugar to balance and mellow the other flavours in the salad dressing. Honey would be a suitable alternative.

White bowl of sugar, set on blue background.

Dijon Mustard:

Add a small amount of mustard for flavour and its ability to emulsify the oil and vinegar, which means, blending the oil and vinegar together.

Glass bowl of Dijon mustard, along side a spoon, on a wooden background.

How to Make the Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint:

The end of the asparagus is almost always tough and woody and will need to be removed. To do this, hold the end of the asparagus with both hands, between your thumb and forefinger, and bend until the woody portion breaks off. Pace the asparagus on a large platter. Rub well with olive oil then season with salt and pepper

Heat a barbecue or char-grill pan to medium-high heat then place the asparagus onto the barbecue or char-grill pan. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, turning several times or until the asparagus is lightly charred and tender but still crisp. Remove the cooked asparagus to a large plate and trim to short lengths.

Toss halved cherry tomatoes in olive oil, lightly season and place them flesh-side down on the grill until lightly charred. Add the cherry tomatoes to the asparagus. Arrange decoratively then sprinkle with lemon zest, add mint leaves, crumbled feta and slivered almonds. Finally, drizzle with the dressing and season to taste.

Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint. A recipe by It's Not Complicated Recipes.

Tips for success:

When selecting asparagus, choose bunches that have firm spears with tight heads and smooth, bright skin. Avoid any that have shrivelled stems or droopy heads. For the best flavour, eat the asparagus as soon as possible after buying.  The sugars in the asparagus quickly convert to starch so the sweet, tender stalks become flavourless and starchy.

In this salad, I use both the lemon zest and juice. When using both, zest the lemon before squeezing the juice. When removing the zest, always be sure to take only the thin, outer part of the rind and avoid the bitter, white pith.

Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint. A recipe by It's Not Complicated Recipes.

Other uses for these ingredients:

Cherry tomatoes:

Asparagus:

Feta:

Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint. A recipe by It's Not Complicated Recipes.

Serving the Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint:

This side dish is perfect for special occasions. Here in the Southern Hemisphere, it would make a perfect addition to the Christmas table. The flavours will work with poultry, meat or fish and the red and green colours suit a traditional Christmas theme.

However, its adaptable personality means that it is equally at home as an addition to a barbecue or beach picnic.

Bowl of asparagus, which have been grilled, and served with feta, mint and slivered almonds.

Whilst I generally serve this salad as a side dish, it is sufficiently substantial to serve as a light, meat-free meal. All you need to accompany it is some warm, crusty bread to soak up the lemony dressing.

Make the most of the arrival of spring asparagus and try it in as many ways as possible. Let me know in the comments below if you make this salad.
Alex xx

Bowl of asparagus salad with tomato, feta, mint and lemon zest.
Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint. A recipe by It's Not Complicated Recipes.
5 from 26 votes
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Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint

This beautiful salad of Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint is full of bright flavours. The bright, slightly acidic tomatoes complement the smoky, tender asparagus while the feta adds creaminess and the toasted almond slivers add crunch. This quick and easy salad is a delicious side dish or light, meat-free meal. Fresh asparagus is a delicious spring delicacy – enjoy!

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine International
Keyword asparagus, cherry tomatoes, delicious, easy, feta, gluten free, healthy, mint, salad, simple, vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 192 kcal
Author Alexandra

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 2 bunches asparagus about 8 spears per bunch
  • 2 tsp olive oil See Note 1
  • 15 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled See Note 2
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves loosely packed
  • 1 tbsp toasted slivered almonds See Note 3
  • 1 tsp lemon zest finely grated
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 tsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash the asparagus and remove the woody ends. – See Note 4

    Preheat a barbecue or chargrill on medium-high heat.

    Uncooked asparagus on a white plate.
  2. Add the asparagus to a large plate and drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the asparagus. Rub into the asparagus with your fingers. Season the asparagus lightly with salt and pepper. Cook the asparagus on the grill for approximately 5 minutes, turning several times or until the asparagus is lightly charred and tender but still crisp.

    Transfer to a large plate. Cut into thirds, approximately.

    Seasoned, uncooked asparagus.
  3. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Add them to the plate on which you oiled the asparagus. Toss with the remaining oil or add another teaspoon of olive oil if necessary.

    Place on the barbecue or char-grill flesh side down to get some grill marks. Grill for about a minute. Remove to the platter with the asparagus.

    White plate with grilled tomatoes on the left and grilled asparagus on the right.
  4. Toast the slivered almonds in a dry pan, being careful not to burn.

    Toasted slivered almonds.
  5. Use a zester to remove a few strips rind from lemon. Alternatively, use a vegetable peeler to peel rind from the lemon and then cut the rind into very thin strips.

    White plate with zest of lemon next to zester.
  6. Whisk lemon juice and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a small bowl. Add sugar and Dijon mustard. Season well with salt and pepper.

    Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Sprinkle with lemon zest, feta, mint and almonds. Serve immediately.

    Glass bowl with whisk, containing dressing for the salad.
  7. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Sprinkle with lemon zest, feta, mint and almonds. Serve immediately.

    Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint. A recipe by It's Not Complicated Recipes.

Recipe Notes

  1. Whilst this may seem a small amount of oil, it will be sufficient to coat the asparagus. Too much oil on the grill will cause it to smoke excessively.
  2. You could use pan-fried halloumi as a lovely alternative to feta.
  3. To toast the almonds, add the slivers to a small frying pan. Do not add oil. Heat the frying pan over low-medium heat, stirring or tossing the almonds until they are a light golden colour. Remove the almonds to a small bowl to ensure that they do not go on cooking in the frying pan.
  4. The end of the asparagus is almost always woody and tough and needs to be removed. To do this, hold the end of the asparagus with both hands, between your thumb and forefinger, and bend until it breaks. The tough, woody end will automatically break off leaving you with the tender part.
Nutrition Facts
Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint
Amount Per Serving
Calories 192 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 17mg6%
Sodium 229mg10%
Potassium 639mg18%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 2211IU44%
Vitamin C 30mg36%
Calcium 167mg17%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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90 Comments on “Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint”

  1. 5 stars
    Chargrilled Asparagus… plus feta… plus mint!? Damn, I’m so in!! This is what a dream salad should look like!! Thanks for another great recipe

  2. 5 stars
    This salad looks fantastic. I absolutely love the flavors you combined here. Now that school is starting I will need more easy lunch recipes like this one. I saved this and will give it a try!

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe looks super healthy with lots of colors, my favorite asparagus is also included and mint leaf! A great combination of work of salad. This is brilliant.

  4. 5 stars
    Alex, I’m so loving this chargrilled asparagus! Love how you’ve also chargrilled the tomatoes for extra flavor then served everything cold. And Yum! The feta and mint. So delicious!

  5. 5 stars
    Wow. This is one next-level recipe! I can’t wait to make it. I’ve only ever steamed it and served it with butter. That looks absolutely fantastic!

  6. 5 stars
    Dang this looks like such a delicious meal! Asparagus has really grown on me and feta is my favorite cheese so this sounds like something I’ll have to try!

  7. 5 stars
    A s a side dish on the Christmas table? Oh yes! It looks so colorful and perfectly-themed for Christmas. Looks so yummy!

  8. Oh my goodness, this looks like such a delicious recipe! With so many autumn parties coming up in the near future, this would be a great thing to make when either hosting your own, or being invited to someone else’s!

  9. Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint salad looks great and I’d love to try it tonight. It looks so delicious and I can’t wait to try it.

  10. 5 stars
    I have never tried to make this kind of beautiful bowl salad. It looks really good and tasty, I will definitely try to make this at home.

  11. 5 stars
    Loving these fresh ingredients! I would love to try making this as I love asparagus. So glad that spring is coming your way while we in England are getting ready to say goodby to Summer and hello to Autumn.

    1. It is sad to say good-bye to summer but autumn is such a beautiful time of year. And yes, for us, spring is here and so many ways to enjoy asparagus. I love the change of seasons. πŸ™‚

  12. 5 stars
    Our temperatures are probably pretty similar right now…the only difference is you’re heading one direction and we’re heading the other. I love those early spring days, and the thought of grilled asparagus is a great way to dust off the grill after a cold winter! The flavors in this one sound amazing!

    1. To me, the arrival of asparagus in the markets always assures me that spring is finally here. Sadly, you wouldn’t know it today so the grill will wait for some other time. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  13. This Vegetarian dish looks amazing. I’m so excited to see more vegetarian and vegan options popping up

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