Vegetarian Asparagus Salad with Croutons Recipe

Asparagus Salad with Croutons

Vegetarian Asparagus Salad with Croutons Recipe
Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 3 minutes | Servings: 4 | Vegetarian diet


Asparagus Salad with Croutons
Asparagus Salad with Croutons

Asparagus Salad with Croutons is a vibrant, refreshing dish perfect for spring and summer gatherings. This recipe combines the tender, slightly sweet flavor of asparagus with the tangy bite of red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard, all balanced with the crunch of croutons and the creamy saltiness of feta cheese. It's a simple yet sophisticated salad that can serve as a delightful side or a light main course.


The history of asparagus as a culinary delight dates back to ancient times, with its cultivation believed to have started 2,500 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean region. The addition of croutons to salads has its roots in France, where stale bread was repurposed to add texture to dishes. This Asparagus Salad with Croutons recipe is a modern take that combines these historical elements into a dish that is both nutritious and flavorful.


How to prepare

  1. 1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Peel the bottom half of each asparagus stalk, then cut the spears into 4 sections. Drop the asparagus into the boiling water, return to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes. Immediately drain the asparagus, rinse it under cold running water, and spread it out on a baking sheet to dry.
  2. 2. In a shallow serving bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, and mustard. Whisk until well blended. Add the asparagus and red onion, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss well. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. 3. Just before serving, add the croutons and toss well. Garnish with feta cheese if desired.


  • For a vegan version, omit the feta cheese or replace it with a vegan cheese alternative. You can also add cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, or radishes for extra color and crunch.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

For the best results, select asparagus spears that are firm and bright green with tightly closed tips. When preparing the asparagus, peeling the bottom half of the stalks can prevent any woody texture in your salad. To achieve the perfect texture for the asparagus, blanching it quickly in boiling water and then cooling it immediately helps retain its vibrant color and crispness.

Serving Suggestions

This salad is perfect as a standalone light lunch or as a side dish for grilled meats or fish. It pairs beautifully with a crisp white wine or a refreshing lemonade on a warm day.

Cooking Techniques

Blanching the asparagus is key to maintaining its vibrant green color and tender-crisp texture. Whisking the dressing ingredients until emulsified helps ensure a balanced flavor in every bite.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have red wine vinegar, you can use white wine vinegar or lemon juice. Any mustard can be used in place of Dijon mustard, and gluten-free croutons can replace regular croutons for those with gluten sensitivities.

Make Ahead Tips

The asparagus can be blanched and the dressing prepared a day ahead. Store them separately in the refrigerator and assemble the salad just before serving to maintain the croutons' crunchiness.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the salad in a shallow bowl or platter to showcase the vibrant colors of the asparagus and red onion. A sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper and a few lemon wedges on the side can enhance the visual appeal and flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

This salad pairs well with light-bodied white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Riesling. For a non-alcoholic option, a cucumber mint water or a floral herbal tea complements the flavors of the salad.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

It's best to enjoy the salad fresh. However, if you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Avoid reheating to maintain the texture of the asparagus and croutons.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Asparagus Salad with Croutons contains approximately 200-250 calories, making it a light and healthy option for those monitoring their calorie intake.


This Asparagus Salad with Croutons is relatively low in carbohydrates. The primary sources of carbs in this dish are the asparagus and croutons. Asparagus is a low-carb vegetable, with a serving of this salad containing approximately 10-15 grams of carbohydrates, depending on the size of the serving and the amount of croutons used.


The olive oil and feta cheese contribute to the fat content in this salad. Olive oil is a healthy monounsaturated fat, beneficial for heart health. The total fat content per serving can vary but is generally moderate, making this salad a heart-healthy choice.


Asparagus itself contains a small amount of protein, but the feta cheese and croutons add additional protein to the dish. Overall, this salad can provide a moderate protein content, especially if served as a side dish.

Vitamins and minerals

Asparagus is rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as folate and several minerals including iron, copper, and calcium. This makes the Asparagus Salad with Croutons not only a delicious but also a nutritious option that supports overall health.


The main allergens to be aware of in this recipe are gluten (in the croutons) and dairy (in the feta cheese). Individuals with sensitivities to these ingredients can easily modify the recipe to suit their dietary needs.


Overall, Asparagus Salad with Croutons is a nutritious dish that provides a good balance of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients. It's low in carbohydrates and calories, contains healthy fats, and offers a moderate amount of protein.


Asparagus Salad with Croutons is a delightful dish that combines the freshness of spring vegetables with the satisfying crunch of croutons. It's versatile, easy to prepare, and packed with nutrients. Whether you're looking for a light lunch or a sophisticated side dish, this salad is sure to impress.

How did I get this recipe?

I can still recall the sense of amazement I felt when I first saw this recipe for Asparagus Salad with Croutons. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Margaret for lunch. Margaret was an excellent cook, and she always had new and exciting recipes to share with me.

As we sat down at the table, she brought out a beautiful platter of vibrant green asparagus spears topped with golden-brown croutons. The aroma of garlic and herbs wafted through the air, making my mouth water in anticipation. I had never seen a salad quite like this before, and I couldn't wait to try it.

Margaret smiled at my eager expression and began to tell me the story behind the recipe. She explained that she had learned it from her grandmother, who had passed it down through the generations in their family. The recipe had originated in the countryside of France, where asparagus grew wild and plentiful in the springtime.

Margaret's grandmother had taught her the importance of using fresh, seasonal ingredients in her cooking. She believed that the natural flavors of the produce should be allowed to shine through, without being masked by heavy sauces or excessive seasonings. This philosophy had stuck with Margaret throughout her life, and she had passed it on to me as well.

As we dug into the salad, I marveled at the simplicity and elegance of the dish. The tender-crisp asparagus was perfectly complemented by the crunchy croutons, which had been toasted to golden perfection. The flavors of garlic, lemon, and fresh herbs danced on my tongue, creating a symphony of taste that was both satisfying and refreshing.

After finishing our meal, Margaret handed me a handwritten copy of the recipe for the salad. She encouraged me to try making it at home, assuring me that it was easy to prepare and would be a hit with my family. I thanked her profusely for sharing the recipe with me and promised to give it a try soon.

When I got home, I wasted no time in gathering the ingredients for the salad. I picked up a bunch of fresh asparagus from the farmer's market, along with a loaf of crusty bread to make the croutons. I already had garlic, lemon, and herbs in my pantry, so I was all set to begin.

I started by blanching the asparagus in boiling water for just a few minutes, until it was bright green and tender-crisp. Then, I plunged it into an ice bath to stop the cooking process and preserve its vibrant color. While the asparagus cooled, I sliced the bread into cubes and tossed them with olive oil, garlic, and herbs before toasting them in the oven until they were golden brown and crispy.

Once everything was ready, I assembled the salad by arranging the asparagus spears on a platter and scattering the croutons on top. I drizzled the salad with a simple dressing made from lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt, then garnished it with freshly chopped herbs.

When I presented the salad to my family at dinner that evening, they were skeptical at first. Asparagus and croutons seemed like an odd combination to them, but one bite was all it took to win them over. The flavors melded together beautifully, creating a dish that was both light and satisfying, perfect for a warm summer evening.

From that day on, Asparagus Salad with Croutons became a staple in our household. I made it often, especially when asparagus was in season, and it never failed to impress. I shared the recipe with friends and neighbors, who all raved about its simplicity and deliciousness.

As the years passed, I continued to make the salad, tweaking the recipe here and there to suit my tastes. Sometimes I added a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or a handful of toasted nuts for extra crunch. Other times, I experimented with different herbs and citrus flavors to keep things interesting.

But no matter how many variations I tried, the essence of the salad remained the same. It was a testament to the power of simple, fresh ingredients, prepared with love and care. And every time I made it, I thought of Margaret and her grandmother, who had passed down this wonderful recipe to me.

As I sit here now, reminiscing about that day with Margaret and the first time I tasted Asparagus Salad with Croutons, I am filled with gratitude for the culinary treasures that have been shared with me over the years. Cooking has always been a source of joy and comfort for me, and I am thankful for the lessons I have learned from those who came before me.

So I will continue to make this salad, passing it on to the next generation in my family and sharing it with anyone who appreciates good food and good company. And I will always remember that warm summer day when a simple recipe brought a sense of amazement and wonder into my life.


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