Recipe: Roasted Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese and Bread Crumbs

by Cate on May 18, 2009

Roasted Asparagus Salad

To be completely honest, I wanted to post this picture and just write two words: make this. Or maybe MAKE THIS. Because some recipes don’t need words. They just need a call to action.

But then I worried that perhaps that wouldn’t be enough to entice you to make this recipe. And I wanted to make sure that you did. Well, not necessarily all of you. I’m looking at you, asparagus lovers. You who rejoice at those fresh green stalks. THIS is the recipe for you. This is the recipe why lemon juice exists. Why sea salt is here. Why goat cheese is magical when it gets all warm and melty. This is the recipe for which we celebrate asparagus season.

I spied this recipe in a recent issue of Oprah magazine. In her Love That! column, this could not have been in a more appropriate place. I made this recipe for me, and me only, because no one else will eat asparagus here. Well, after tonight, it turns out that Madeline does, but that’s not the point. When I was putting the final dish together, I spied my neighbor outside in her garden and decided to split the batch and bring a plate over. She still has 10 weeks to go until her baby #2 is here, and she’s feeling like she’s about 19 months pregnant. I hadn’t even had a bite of this, but I knew it would perk her right up. If I had tasted it first, I can almost certainly guarantee that she wouldn’t have had any of this.  It’s the perfect combination of simple flavors that, when married, make magic.

So make this. MAKE THIS. Make enough that you can share. Or be greedy and keep it all yourself. This is why asparagus exists.

P.S.  Do not skip the lemon juice because it truly makes this dish sing.  I used less when I made this the second time and it was still excellent, but not nearly as magical.

Roasted Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese and Bread Crumbs
Recipe courtesy of Oprah magazine, April 2009

Serves 4 (ha!)

  • 1 thick slice crusty bread or 3 thick slices baguette cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pound asparagus spears , trimmed
  • 4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 ounces fresh goat cheese , crumbled (I used way less, maybe 1.5-2 oz)
  • Zest of 1 lemon , removed in long, thin strips

Preheat oven to 425°. Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast, tossing halfway through, until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove, cool, and chop into coarse crumbs; set aside. Wipe sheet clean.

Arrange asparagus on sheet. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil, and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast, rolling asparagus over once or twice, until just tender, 12 to 14 minutes; transfer to a large platter.

Sprinkle lemon juice over asparagus, then scatter bread crumbs on top. Drizzle remaining olive oil; top with goat cheese and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Extra idea: These flavors would also work together harmoniously as a canapé—the goat cheese spread thin on crustless bread, the asparagus steamed and sliced thin, the lemon zest curled on top.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Caron May 18, 2009 at 10:42 pm

I’m drooling. That looks amazing. And those are some of my very favorite flavors EVER. Mmmmm. So totally making this.

Sarah Carons last blog post..Lime and Coconut Muffins

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doggybloggy May 18, 2009 at 11:20 pm

you made me kick myself…I saw a big bunch of purple asparagus for 2 bucks today and I didnt get them….I could be copying this recipe -right now!

doggybloggys last blog post..balls said the queen

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Claire May 19, 2009 at 12:36 am

Oh my goodness, you KNOW this is totally up my alley! Looks wonderful. Now, Just need to get some asparagus, goat cheese, bread, and lemon. ;-)

Claires last blog post..Changing Seasons

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ciaochowlinda May 19, 2009 at 7:22 am

OK, I’m convinced. I’ll be buying asparagus today.

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Joanne May 19, 2009 at 7:38 am

I LOVE asparagus. Especially roasted. I love any vegetable roasted. But especially asparagus.

I will so be making this.

Congrats on being an Aunt again!

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ttfn300 May 19, 2009 at 7:49 am

as someone who LOVES goat cheese and asparagus, this certain screams make me!!!

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Natasha - 5 Star Foodie May 19, 2009 at 8:39 am

I love the combination of goat cheese and asparagus – yum!

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Jeff May 19, 2009 at 9:08 am

Grrrr….why did I not notice this last night. I did grilled asparagus with sea salt, pepper, extra virgin, and it was joyous. However, lemon and goat cheese would have made me do a happy dance.

I love asparagus season so much. Nicely done!

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Cathy May 19, 2009 at 9:09 am

Goat cheese and asparagus…doesn’t get better than that!

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Debbie May 19, 2009 at 11:02 am

My two words are OH MY!!! I AM going to make this. I love asparagus!!! Thank you!

Debbies last blog post..Wayne’s Beef Macaroni and Cheese

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Patsy May 19, 2009 at 12:21 pm

This recipe does require a call to action… now I have to make sure I buy asparagus so I can make this SOON!

Patsys last blog post..Strawberry Spa Salad with Almond Vinaigrette

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Wendy May 19, 2009 at 12:52 pm

OMG. I so have to make this. It sounds amazing!

Wendys last blog post..{twd} Fresh Mango Bread

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melissa May 19, 2009 at 4:57 pm

i love asparagus! this looks like a must try!

melissas last blog post..Pasta Salad with Chicken

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Nate May 19, 2009 at 6:12 pm

we have one more bunch of asparagus in the fridge. I think I should suggest to Annie that we try this recipe !

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jan May 19, 2009 at 7:34 pm

SOOOO… I made this. No bread, no measure, grated lemon peel over the asparagus before roasting. Forgot to put any lemon juice on (oops). Didn’t use any more lemon peel. Used Feta cheese instead of goat. Talk about the best side dish for a HAPPY Meal! I’d marinated boneless chicken breasts in lime juice and tequila (nod to the earlier recipe) and we grilled them. Now I want seconds!

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Elyse May 20, 2009 at 12:41 am

Oh, I will MAKE THIS! I love asparagus, and this dish is totally amazing. I cannot, cannot wait to try it out. Yay for O magazine. What an awesome recipe. Simple and delicious, and oh-so flavorful….I’d say this one is a total winner.

Elyses last blog post..And my sanity has returned… (SMS: Guinness Gingerbread)

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noobcook May 20, 2009 at 4:30 am

ok, ok, I’m sold … heheh … Your lovely photo of it already convinced me that it’s delicious! :D

noobcooks last blog post..Chinese Black Bean Soup ???

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Vegetation May 20, 2009 at 5:22 am

Mmmm I’m definitely in the asparagus lovers category! And so is one of my kids! Particularly roasted but she’ll eat it any way it’s cooked.

I can’t wait to give this a try!

Vegetations last blog post..Mushroom Pot Pies.

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Blue Jean Gourmet May 20, 2009 at 10:53 am

oh, yes please! big fan of oven-roasted asparagus, and have some lovely Farmer’s market goat cheese in the fridge right now! love the idea of using bread crumbs for crunch. thanks Cate!

Blue Jean Gourmets last blog post..LEAH’S STRAWBERRY SALAD

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jan May 22, 2009 at 10:53 am

Last night I made kind of the same thing with green beans and feta cheese. Picky husband ate all his for a change… This might be an option for the ones who don’t eat asparagus. (We don’t have that problem here in asparagus-land)

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ziege schaf April 2, 2010 at 7:03 am

I really love goat cheese it is really delicous. Most of the time I eat it as a dessert or use it to make a salsa.

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