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Asparagus salad with caramelized leeks brings the best of spring vegetables into a bowl for an easy healthy side dish. Add dried cherries or cranberries, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar, and you have one flavor-packed veggie recipe. Since you can serve this roasted asparagus salad hot, room temperature, or cold, it’s versatile enough for a weeknight dinner, a meal-prep lunch, or even to bring to a party or holiday. One of my favorite gluten free asparagus recipes is definitely this Caramelized Leek Asparagus Salad.
Originally published on Apr 21, 2012.
I told my family that I would bring asparagus “something or other” for Easter. Nothing like being vague, but I guess that’s a food blogger’s life when we are brainstorming recipes.
So we had our usual ham and kielbasa. Of course, there was our Ukrainian Easter bread, Paska. We had the usual Hrudka and Syrnyk, which are Ukrainian cheeses. Mom made potato salad. And we always have a selection of Easter desserts.
And this asparagus side dish recipe. It’s a good thing, too. Because other than my aunt’s tossed salad (which was yummy with the addition of some cilantro), this was the only veggie. Our family’s Easter menu is typically heavy on the carbs and pork products. So this spring vegetable side dish was actually a nice, light contrast to the heaviness of the meal.
Roasted Asparagus Salad with Caramelized Leeks
Several years back, for a previous Easter, in fact, I brought Rachael Ray’s Asparagus-Caramelized Onion Salad to my friends’ house. It was quite delicious, and I’ve made it a few times since. I had originally thought about that recipe for Easter this year, but I wanted to incorporate another of those spring shoots, and I wanted to make it just a little more exciting.
How do you make Asparagus Salad with Caramelized Leeks?
- So I decided to use roasted asparagus, which was just tossed with some olive oil, salt, and pepper before roasting in the oven on a sheet pan.
- Instead of the onions, I gave it a little springtime flair by caramelizing some leeks. Slice the leeks and saute in a pan over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until golden. Then add balsamic vinegar and reduce until sticky before adding Dijon mustard and season to taste.
- Then toss everything together with some dried cherries and goat cheese. It’s a simple addition for extra flavor and a sweet and tangy balance to the earthiness of the asparagus and leeks. You can use feta cheese and dried cranberries instead.
Need a quicker way to roast the asparagus? Follow the directions for air fryer asparagus, and toss in those mushrooms too. It’ll be ready in under 10 minutes!
Can Asparagus Salad be served at room temperature?
Caramelized leek and asparagus salad is definitely a dish that you can bring to a party or holiday gathering. Why? Because while you should store it cold, you can actually serve it hot right after you make it, cold out of the fridge, and yes, even at room temperature.
What are some other Easter recipes to go with your meal?
- Brown Butter Peas and Carrots
- Goat Cheese Sweet Potato Gratin
- Cauliflower Gratin with Horseradish Cheddar Cheese
- Italian Country Salad
Caramelized Leek Asparagus Salad Recipe
This easy side dish recipe features the best spring vegetables. It’s a flavor-packed combination of roasted asparagus, caramelized leeks, dried cherries, and goat cheese. Balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard pull everything together for a taste you can’t resist. It’s healthy and gluten free too.
Caramelized Leek Asparagus Salad
- 1-1 1/2 pounds asparagus trimmed and cut into approximately 1 in. pieces on an angle
- 1 teaspoon plus 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt
- 2 leeks
- 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup dried cherries chopped (can substitute dried cranberries)
- 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
- Preheat your oven to 425°F.
- Toss the asparagus with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt.
- Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender. Set aside or place in the refrigerator.
- Heat the 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Add leeks and cook until caramel colored, stirring occasionally for about 10-15 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low, add the balsamic vinegar and reduce slightly. Remove from heat and add the dijon mustard, and salt and pepper, to taste.
- Toss the caramelized leeks with the asparagus, and gently fold in the cherries and goat cheese.
- Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.
Adapted from Rachael Ray’s Asparagus-Caramelized Onion Salad.