Easy Asparagus Recipe with Tomato-Olive Salsa

Easy Asparagus Recipe with Tomato-Olive Salsa

This easy asparagus recipe is a delicious side dish. Asparagus stalks are briefly steamed, then topped with a brightly flavored tomato and olive salsa that is seasoned with za’atar spice blend, fresh garlic, and vinegar or fresh lemon juice.

Za’atar Spice Blend with Vegetables

Za’atar spice blend is commonly used throughout middle eastern cuisine. It is traditionally made with some of the essential Turkish spices like sumac, sesame seeds, and oregano. Za’atar is a perfect accompaniment to vegetables, added either as a condiment like in the salsa recipe below, or during cooking like in this salmon recipe or za’atar flatbread recipe.

How to Choose Asparagus

Asparagus is in season mainly in the spring. Stalks picked at peak of ripeness are tender and sweet tasting. Choose asparagus bunches that are being kept in water at the farmers market or grocery store, and not floppy or wilted. When selecting a bunch of asparagus, pick one containing stalks of a similar size, so that they cook at the same rate. To clean asparagus, snap off the bottom portion of the stem, as it is generally woody and tough.

easy asparagus recipe, Recipes for dinner, including vegetable recipes, easy dinner recipes, baking recipes, healthy dinner recipes, meal planning recipes, weekly meal plan recipes

Cooking Asparagus

My steamer basket does not fit asparagus, as the stalks are too long. To steam, I use a saute pan, put a small amount of water in the bottom of it, and lay the asparagus in the pan. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, cover, bring to a boil and steam for about three minutes. Remove the asparagus from the pan just before the stalks are fork tender, as they will continue to cook when removed from the pan. Let cool slightly, then top with tomato-olive salsa. Asparagus may also be roasted (toss in olive oil first) in a 425°F oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of the stalks.

What to Serve with this Easy Asparagus Recipe

This tomato-olive salsa can be to spruce up so many things, from pasta to fish to meat to roast potatoes. Serve this easy asparagus recipe with tomato-olive salsa alongside Turkish-style cauliflower rice pilaf, and chicken with tomatoes and honey for a hearty meal.

easy asparagus recipe with tomato-olive salsa, Recipes for dinner, including vegetable recipes, easy dinner recipes, baking recipes, healthy dinner recipes, meal planning recipes, weekly meal plan recipes

Easy Asparagus Recipe with Tomato-Olive Salsa

The bright flavors of the tomato-olive salsa complement the sweet tender asparagus stalks.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: California, Mediterranean
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 4 as a side dish
Calories: 67kcal
Author: Aliye Aydin

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup pitted olives (choose your favorite kind)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 1 Tablespoon Za'atar spice blend or 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 bunch asparagus

Optional Add-Ins

  • thinly sliced fennel
  • thinly sliced onion
  • cubed feta cheese
  • chopped artichoke hearts
  • crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Cut tomatoes into quarters lengthwise. Roughly chop olives. Mince garlic and capers.
  • In a bowl, toss together tomatoes, olives, za'atar spice blend, white wine vinegar, minced garlic and capers, olive oil, pepper, and salt. 
  • Lightly steam asparagus, cooking until slightly underdone (it will continue to cook when removed from heat). Place on a platter and garnish with tomato-olive salsa.
  • Salsa recipe makes more than enough for one bunch of asparagus, and can easily be used over pasta, combined with a can of tuna, or mixed with shredded cooked chicken. 
Tried this recipe?Share @agoodcarrot or tag #agoodcarrot!


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