Asparagus with lemon, olives and Feta can be served hot, cold or room temperature. Making it the most fuss-free side dish for a nice meal.
Looking for a simple, yet impressive side dish? Set your inner-chef free! This one is pretty perfect for a Mother’s Day, Easter or spring Sunday dinner. Let me give you a scenario that could play out with this delicious recipe:
You place this dish down on the table and suddenly your inner-chef is out! Out there for everyone to see. They’re impressed. Audible ooos and ahhs. You brush it off, “It’s just a simple side dish,” you say.
Then they taste it. It’s the best thing they’ve ever tasted. All their favorite ingredients in one place!
You’re flattered. It will forever be a go-to!
The secret to a make-ahead recipe like this asparagus with lemon dish, is blanching. Green veggies love to be cooked this way.
To keep this recipe easy I blanched the asparagus. If you’ve never done this, don’t be concerned. It’s quite straight forward. All you need is, water! Yes, boiling water, and ice water.
Blanching cooks veggies to a tender-crisp texture. I know, that seems impossible. Really, though, they end up having a little bite to them, while also tasting cooked. It’s veggie perfection.
To blanch your asparagus, make sure your water is boiling before adding the veg. The asparagus only cooks about 1 minute, so you want to make sure it doesn’t have to hang out in warm water while it waits for the boil. That would cause it to be overcooked. Also make sure you have your bowl of ice water at the ready. After 1 minute in the boiling water the asparagus gets “shocked” in the ice water. This simply stops the cooking.
For more vegetable deliciousness try these Tapenade Toasts with Roasted Vegetables.
You get perfectly cooked asparagus and not over-cooked, mushy veggies. Now you can serve the asparagus cold, right out of the ice water, or keep at room temperature, or as directed in the recipe, sauté it just to heat it through. Lemon zest and slices add fresh flavor, Feta and olives add a sharp saltiness. It will be the hit of the meal!
- Sea salt
- 1 lb asparagus tough stems trimmed
- 2 lemons
- ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives quartered
- ½ cup crumbled Feta
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until bright green and just tender, about 1 min. Remove and dunk asparagus into a bowl of ice and water. Once cooled, remove and drain.
Slice 1 lemon into thin slices and set aside. Zest the other lemon and reserve the zest.
To serve hot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and sauté asparagus until just hot, then proceed. To serve room temp, just assemble on a platter, cooled, as is.
Mix the asparagus and lemon slices on a platter. Top with the olives, feta, lemon zest and drizzle with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with black pepper and serve.
Try more spring recipes like these festive and fun Flower Cupcakes.
Recipe and Food Styling: Tara Bench
Photography and Props by Nicole Gerulat
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