Asparagus and Goat Cheese Salad 12.000

Domenica Marchetti

Say Cheese Sep 1, 2009

Make Ahead: The recipe for this salad's dark cherry balsamic vinaigrette recipe yields about 2 1/2 cups, so you will have some left over; it can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Use on other salads, or drizzle over grilled shrimp or lobster.

Servings: 12 - 14
  • For the vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cherry preserves
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the salad
  • 2 pounds asparagus
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, leaves separated, trimmed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 10 ounces mixed baby greens
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (see NOTE)
  • 8 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


For the vinaigrette: Combine the balsamic vinegar, sugar and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has reduced by half. Add the cherry preserves and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature, then whisk in the red wine vinegar and then the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the salad: Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes.

Select a skillet or saute pan large enough to accommodate a single layer of the asparagus. Fill the pan two-thirds full with water and bring to a boil over high heat.

Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus, or trim those ends so all the spears are a uniform length. Add to the boiling water and cook uncovered for 3 to 6 minutes (depending on the thickness of the spears), until bright-green and crisp-tender. Test for doneness by inserting a paring knife into the thickest part of a spear or, easier still, by tasting one. Use tongs to transfer the asparagus to the ice-water bath; let them cool for 1 to 2 minutes, and then drain and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the asparagus on the diagonal into 1 1/2-inch lengths. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

To assemble: Have ready chilled salad bowls or salad plates.

Combine the chilled asparagus, romaine, mixed greens, most of the pine nuts and most of the goat cheese in a large bowl. Drizzle 1 cup of the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper and pepper to taste.

Use tongs to transfer the salad to the bowls or plates, building height in the center and arranging the more colorful salad ingredients on top. Garnish with the remaining pine nuts and goat cheese. Serve immediately.

NOTE: Spread the pine nuts on a small baking sheet or in a pie plate. Toast in a 350-degree oven for 6 or 7 minutes or until golden brown. Watch closely, because they burn easily. Let cool completely.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted by Alexandria cook Dana Jones, from "Nordstrom Entertaining at Home Cookbook: Delicious Recipes for Memorable Gatherings," by John Clem, Michael Northern and Nordstrom (Chronicle, 2005).

Tested by Dana Jones.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at