You can find all of your favorite spring vegetables in this light and flavorful Asparagus Salad recipe. Fresh asparagus, crunchy radishes, red onion, and arugula are tossed in a homemade lemon vinaigrette dressing. This spring salad is topped with fried panko goat cheese rounds, giving every bite the perfect amount of crunch!
It's Spring in Upstate NY, which means fresh asparagus is cheap and plentiful at all of the local grocery stores. There are countless ways to eat asparagus, but my Asparagus Salad with Fried Goat Cheese is one of my favorites!
This is a quick and easy salad recipe that can be served at brunch, lunch, or dinner. It's the perfect side dish for Easter Sunday or Mother's day.
Why you'll love this recipe
- This is a light and refreshing recipe that is packed with all of your favorite seasonal produce. Asparagus, radishes, and arugula are all in season during the spring months.
- You can easily make this salad in under 30 minutes! The fast prep time and cooking time make it the perfect easy side dish for your next holiday gathering.
- Compared to most salad recipes, this salad requires very minimal chopping, no peeling, and no rinsing of the greens. Arugula is most commonly sold in plastic containers, rinsed, and ready to eat. You don't have to peel the radishes, and the asparagus, radishes, and onion all chop up very quickly!
- The fried panko goat cheese rounds are what set this Asparagus Salad recipe apart from all of the others! The warm panko-crusted goat cheese slices give every bite the perfect amount of crisp crunch.
Asparagus: Fresh-cut asparagus is commonly found in most grocery stores from mid-March through the end of May. Asparagus spears have tender tops, they'll stay firm yet tender when cooked, and they add brilliant green color to the salad.
Arugula: Arugula has a bold, peppery flavor. It's a hearty green that holds up well when tossed with warm asparagus and the lemon vinaigrette.
Radishes: Radishes are crisp and crunchy and also have a bold, peppery flavor like arugula does.
Red onion: Red onions have a mild, sweet flavor which makes them perfect for eating raw in salads. They add the perfect pop of purple color to this otherwise very green salad.
Fried goat cheese ingredients: You'll need unseasoned panko bread crumbs, all-purpose flour, 1 large egg, and a 4-ounce log of goat cheese to make the fried goat cheese rounds. You can use plain goat cheese or herbed goat cheese.
Lemon Vinaigrette ingredients: The Asparagus Salad is lightly dressed with extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
A detailed ingredient list can be found in the recipe card below.
- A medium-sized saucepan is needed to boil the asparagus in.
- Four small mixing bowls are needed to make the vinaigrette and use for the ingredients needed to bread the goat cheese.
- A medium-sized frying pan will be used to fry the panko-crusted goat cheese.
- You'll also need a cutting board, chopping knife, measuring cups, and measuring spoons.
How to make Asparagus Salad
- Freeze the goat cheese for 30 minutes.
- Boil the asparagus.
- Toss all of the vegetables with the Lemon Vinaigrette.
- Fry the panko-crusted goat cheese slices and add them to the salad right before you're ready to eat.
Step 1: Place the goat cheese log in the freezer for 30 minutes before you plan on making your salad. This will firm up the goat cheese so that it easily slices into rounds. If it's not firm, it will just crumble when you try to slice it.
Step 2: Remove the bottom one to two inches from the asparagus spears. The bottom of asparagus spears are often referred to as the "woody ends." The woody ends are tough and hard to chew. Chop the remaining portion of the asparagus spears into large pieces.
Step 3: Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to a boil on the stove. Add the chopped asparagus and cook for about 3 minutes. You want the asparagus to be tender, but still vibrant and crisp. Immediately drain the asparagus from the boiling water and rinse with cold water.
Step 4: Add the arugula, sliced radishes, sliced red onions, and cooked asparagus to a large mixing bowl and toss to combine.
Step 5: In a small mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour the lemon vinaigrette over top of the salad and toss until all of the greens are coated in the dressing.
Step 6: Transfer the flour, panko bread crumbs, and cracked egg into three separate bowls. Remove the goat cheese from the freezer and carefully slice the goat cheese using a sharp knife. Slice the goat cheese into 6-7 evenly-sized rounds.
Step 7: Coat each slice of goat cheese in the panko bread crumbs by first pressing the goat cheese into the flour, then dipping it into the whisked egg, and lastly pressing it into the panko bread crumbs.
Step 8: Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan over low heat. When the oil is hot, carefully place each panko goat cheese slice into the pan. Fry the goat cheese for about 2-3 minutes per side, until each side is golden brown.
Step 9: Top the Asparagus Salad with the fried goat cheese rounds, serve immediately, and enjoy!
- You do not want to skip putting the goat cheese in the freezer for 30 minutes before you make the salad. Slicing the goat cheese is a little tricky. It will be even harder if your goat cheese is very soft and crumbly. The freezer will firm up the goat cheese just enough, making it a little easier to slice.
- The asparagus will cook very quickly in boiling water. You don't want it to become mushy, so keep a close eye on it. The asparagus will have the perfect texture if it only cooks for about 3 minutes.
- Coating the goat cheese in panko bread crumbs is a little messy but it's worth it! I found it helpful to keep my hands wiped off and to use a spoon or tongs to help transfer the goat cheese from the flour, to the egg, and into the bread crumbs.
- When flipping the goat cheese over in the frying pan, use a thin metal spatula or a fork. The panko-crusted goat cheese is very delicate and needs to be handled gently.
Substitutions and variations
Asparagus: I don't recommend substituting the asparagus in this recipe. The only modification that I think would be delicious would be to use grilled asparagus instead of boiled asparagus. If you're looking for asparagus substitutes, I have a really informative post on the 12 Best Asparagus Substitutes.
Arugula: Common arugula substitutes include romaine lettuce, baby kale, baby spinach, and mixed greens. For more arugula substitutes, check out my post on the Top 14 Substitutes for Arugula.
Veggies: Cherry tomatoes, green peas, cucumbers, fresh herbs, and carrots would all be excellent additions to this salad recipe.
Protein: If you'd like to add protein to this salad, I recommend adding light and healthy proteins like hard-boiled eggs, white beans, shrimp, scallops, or grilled chicken breast.
How to store
Store leftovers in a glass, airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. After a couple of days, the greens will start to wilt because they're dressed with lemon vinaigrette.
What to serve with
This Asparagus Salad is packed with so many fresh flavors! It pairs perfectly with just about any light and easy main meal. My favorite way to serve it is with my Dutch Oven Ham, Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Breast, Grilled Shrimp and Chicken Kabobs, Cast Iron Pork Tenderloin, Blackened Cod, and Salmon Pasta without Cream.
Frequently asked questions
Asparagus can be eaten raw or cooked. It has a chewy texture when uncooked though, so it's often most preferable when it's served cooked.
Asparagus can taste bitter when it's served raw, unseasoned, or overcooked. Boiling asparagus for a few minutes and then immediately rinsing with cold water will remove bitter flavors. Seasoning cooked asparagus with salt, pepper, herbs, and olive oil will also help.
Perfectly cooked asparagus will be tender and bright green. Overcooked asparagus will be mushy and have changed to a dark green/muddy color.
Recipes you'll also like
Hungry for more?
Check out my highlights on Instagram for weekly family dinner ideas!
Did you make this recipe? Tell me all about it in the comments below! I love hearing from my followers and answering any of your questions!