Asparagus is grilled until charred and slightly caramelized then tossed with spicy arugula and creamy goat cheese in this fresh and flavorful summer salad.
Salads don’t have to be boring. One of the best ways to keep salads fun, inventive and exciting is to mix and match your ingredients throughout the year based on the season.
Whether that’s strawberries in the spring, heirloom tomatoes in the summer, apples in the fall, or citrus in the winter, you’ll never get tired of the “same old salad” if you let seasonality guide your ingredients.
When asparagus season hits locally, you will find me grilling, sautéing or broiling it just about every night of the week. Most recently I decided to grill it to create a simple but delicious asparagus salad with goat cheese and arugula.
If you’ve never tried grilling asparagus, you must promise me you’ll give it a go. Similar to broiling or roasting, grilling the asparagus allows for the natural occurring sugars to caramelize. This results in sweet, tender, smoky asparagus in every bite.
How To Make Grilled Asparagus and Arugula Salad
Once the asparagus is done grilling, I slice it into bite-sized pieces, about 1 inch in size.
To assemble this asparagus and arugula salad, you can use either a mixing bowl or simply spread everything out on a large platter.
In addition to baby arugula and grilled asparagus, I also like to add in thinly sliced shaved red onion. The onion adds the perfect crunchy texture and spicy kick to balance out the rest of the dish.
To dress the salad, all it needs is a splash of lemon juice, salt and pepper.
If you want to add a little more olive oil, go right ahead, although usually there’s enough from the grilled asparagus.
Next, season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Right before serving, sprinkle crumbled goat cheese all over the salad. I prefer adding it at the end so that each bite gets a pop of creamy, tangy goat cheese. When you toss it together with the whole salad the goat cheese tends to dissolve into the vinaigrette losing it’s creamy texture so garnishing it on top at the end is my preference.
Frequently Asked Questions
How far in advance can I prepare this grilled asparagus salad?
You can grill the asparagus up to one day in advance but I don’t suggest dressing the salad until right before you plan to serve.
Should I shy away from asparagus with thick stems?
Absolutely not! Thicker spears have great texture and often times more flavor than thin stems. With that said, always look for asparagus grown as locally to you as possible.
What could I use in place of goat cheese if I don’t have it on hand?
This salad would be great with feta cheese, crumble cotija cheese or even shaved parmesan.
Is asparagus healthy?
Asparagus is naturally low in calories and is a great source of nutrients such as fiber, folate and vitamins A, C and K. Research has also shown that eating asparagus has other health benefits such as weight loss, better digestion, healthier pregnancy outcomes and lower blood pressure.
Want more delicious asparagus recipes? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Pesto Pasta Salad with Asparagus and Goat Cheese
- Chicken and Asparagus Stir-Fry
- Grilled Asparagus with Tahini Lemon Sauce
- Pasta Primavera with Sautéed Vegetables
- Thai Green Curry with Chicken and Asparagus
Your fork is waiting.
Grilled Asparagus Salad with Arugula and Goat Cheese
- 1 bunch asparagus (trimmed)
- 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cups baby arugula
- 1 cup red onion (thinly shaved)
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Pre-heat grill to high heat. Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Grill until tender, about 5-6 minutes, rotating once. Remove asparagus from grill and place on cutting board. Cut asparagus into bite-sized pieces.
- On a large platter, scatter the arugula and top with red onion and grilled asparagus. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Crumble goat cheese on top before serving.