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Purple Asparagus Salad

Sweet purple asparagus takes center stage with toasted pine nuts and a homemade dijon dressing in this Purple Asparagus Salad.

Purple asparagus for a salad

Purple asparagus has a sweet, nutty flavor and a less fibrous texture than green asparagus, so it’s a natural for salads.

I love to grow Pacific Purple Asparagus and Purple Passion Asparagus. Purple Passion is considered the gourmet’s choice. It contains 20% more sugar than green asparagus and takes on a nutty flavor—and turns green—when cooked. But you won’t be cooking them in this recipe because like all purple asparagus, these spears are so sweet and tender they can be eaten straight from the garden, as a raw snack. Pacific Purple tastes very similar to Purple Passion, but where it shines is the sheer amount that will grow. If you really love purple asparagus, you’ll get a huge crop from Pacific Purple!

Now let’s get into this lovely dish. Whichever purple asparagus you choose for this recipe, it can be left raw or lightly steamed. But you don’t want to “cook it” or else it will lose its purple color. In this Purple Asparagus Salad recipe, we are letting the true taste of this amazing vegetable shine through as we serve it crispy fresh in a homemade dijon dressing.

First, you’ll toss your washed, sliced asparagus, onion, basil, and mint together in a bowl. Then, you’ll toast your pine nuts and add them to the bowl. Next, you’ll whisk together a dijon dressing and toss it all together for the most delicious Purple Asparagus Salad.

This dish comes together so quickly, you can cut your asparagus spears from the garden and have lunch on the table in less than 30 minutes. Bonus—purple asparagus freezes beautifully, so you can enjoy this recipe year-round!

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Purple asparagus for a salad

Purple Asparagus Salad

Sweet purple asparagus takes center stage with toasted pine nuts and a homemade dijon dressing in this Purple Asparagus Salad.

  • Author: Norann Oleson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Salads & Dressings

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 pounds purple asparagus, such as Purple Passion, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Slice the asparagus and onion and place in a large bowl with the chopped basil and mint.
  2. Place the nuts in a dry skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes, or until lightly brown. Be careful not to burn them. Remove from heat and sprinkle the pine nuts over the vegetables.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whisk to combine.
  4. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and nuts, and toss to coat.

Want a home garden crop that will produce delicious, nutritious, stately vegetables for decades? Then plant asparagus. You’ll need a little patience at first, but once established, asparagus will reward you for years to come. With our Asparagus—King of the Garden Gardening Guide, you’ll have everything you need to know about growing and enjoying this versatile food. Check it out!

Have you tried this recipe? It’s so easy and makes for an impressive dish for your friends and family—please tell us how it turned out for you.

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