Asparagus, Spring Herbs and Manchego Salad

This salad can be enjoyed all by itself, or perched atop whole or chopped greens—watercress is delicious—or used as a bruschetta topping when tomatoes are at their best. It’s also a great addition to an antipasto, accompanied by prosciutto and your favorite olives. I even enjoy it with a little anchovy mashed into the olive oil. I recall this salad from years ago, most likely from an issue of Food & Wine magazine. This is how I remember it.
By / Photography By Tracy Smith Studio | March 09, 2016


The asparagus can be boiled, steamed, grilled or roasted for this recipe. I recommend steaming it for 3 to 8 minutes, depending on stalk size. If boiling or steaming asparagus, immediately plunge pieces into a bowl of ice water to help retain their bright green color. Drain and dry well.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk in herbs.

Arrange asparagus on a platter and toss it gently with whisked dressing. Top with shavings of Manchego cheese (or Parmesan, if you prefer) when ready to serve.

Individual plates can be lined with lettuce leaves or framed by avocado slices.

Variation: To make bruschetta, brush bread with some dressing and top with thinly sliced tomato, and the asparagus and Manchego salad.

* If chervil is not available, tarragon can be used. To substitute, use 1 tablespoon tarragon and increase the amount of parsley to taste.

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  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste (coarse salt is good with this dish)
  • 2 tablespoons each chervil*, chives, mint and parsley, coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup shaved Manchego cheese (or Parmesan)
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