Asparagus Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Asparagus Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Is it salad weather yet where you live?

If not, don’t throw a snowball at me for asking that question. And if it IS salad weather where you live, consider yourself shunned.

Let’s diverge from an inane conversation about the weather. I was babysitting last night and the following is a conversation between Gavin (7), Kade (4) and me (older than dirt).

Kade, handing me the fortune from a fortune cookie: “MomMom, what does this say?”
Me, lying: “It says, ‘Clean up your room before you go to bed.'”
Kade, rolling his eyes: “Ohhh, man. Well, I’m not doing it.”
Gavin: “Kade, if it says you have to clean your room then you have to do it!”
Kade: “No I don’t. They aren’t the boss of me.”
Gavin: “Kade, yes you do. It says it on that piece of paper. They know what they’re doing because they are fortune tellers and that means that you have to do what they say. That’s your fortune.”
Kade: “No. They don’t know what they are talking about.”
Kade, handing me another fortune: “MomMom, what does this one say?”
Me, lying again: “It says, ‘clean up your toys before you go to bed or else they will be taken away from you.”
Gavin, acting the part of the bossy older brother: “Ha, ha Kade. See, Mom says the same thing, so, it’s true. You do have to clean up or else you’ll get your toys taken away!”
Kade, turning the paper upside down: “Now what does it say.”
Me: “The same thing.”
Kade: “No it doesn’t cause it’s upside down. If it’s upside down it can’t say clean up your toys.”
At this point I give up, roll over onto the floor, and play with the baby. I like the baby. He doesn’t talk yet.


I wonder if I said funny or clever things when I was a kid. Probably not. I do remember, however, that my grandmother laughed whenever she thought about a joke I told her when I was in the 1st grade. One of the last times I ever talked to her, she laughed about that joke again. It’s an old, old joke. You’ve probably told it yourself once or twice: “How do you catch a squirrel?” “Sit in a tree and act like a nut.”

The funny thing about that joke is that when I was in 1st grade, I didn’t get the joke. To me, it sounded perfectly logical that someone would sit in a tree and act like a nut if they really wanted to catch a squirrel. Well, actually, more like an acorn. It was the picture I always had in my mind when I thought about that joke…me, dressed up like an acorn, sitting motionless on a tree branch with my knees tucked up under my chin, waiting for an adventurous squirrel to come inspect me.

Asparagus Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

This is the part of the post where I should introduce something with nuts, right? I got nothing. Bupkis. (By the way, if you want a laugh and some education, look up that word, “bupkis”. It’s Yiddish. Go ahead–here’s a link; here’s another one, it’s funnier but has a naughty word in it).

There is no recovering from that last ramble, and I am not going to rewrite this post for the third time. So, here it is, Asparagus Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.

Asparagus Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Asparagus Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 4 salads


    For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • For the salad:
  • 1/4 pound very thinly sliced pancetta
  • 24 medium stalks asparagus, rinsed and tough ends removed
  • 1/2 small purple onion, thinly sliced into half rings
  • Parmesan cheese, grated


    For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
  1. To a blender add the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, salt, Dijon mustard and black pepper. With the blender running on low speed, drizzle the olive into the other ingredients to create an emulsion. Put dressing in a serving container, cover and refrigerate while preparing salad.
  2. For the Salad:
  3. Dice or rough cut pancetta. In a small frying pan, fry pancetta just until crispy. Do not over cook. Remove pancetta onto several stacked paper towels to drain. Set aside.
  4. Prepare vegetable steamer and bring water to a boil.
  5. While water is heating, diagonally cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Place in steamer and steam for 2 minutes. Remove asparagus from steamer and immediately cool under cold running water or plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain.
  6. Lightly toss asparagus and purple onion half rings together. Divide into individual serving bowls or salad plates. Top with grated Parmesan and pancetta crumbles. Allow each person to add dressing as desired.


Bacon, fried crisp and crumbled, can be substituted for the pancetta.

Do not overcook the asparagus. It should be crisp tender.

Asparagus Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

You may also like:

Tortellini Salad with Toasted Garlic Vinaigrette
Tortellini Salad with Toasted Garlic Vinaigrette
German Potato Salad
German Potato Salad
Pasta Salad with Sun Dried Tomato Dressing
Pasta Salad with Sun Dried Tomato Dressing



  1. says

    Your grandsons are too cute!! I love to “eavesdrop” on my kids having a big discussion about something that happened at school or a show they are watching. They sound so much more intelligent than I ever was at their age. I love your squirrel joke too… but I can totally see you not getting it as a 1st grader. I always made my mother buy cereal when I was a kid because I wanted to eat the strawberries I saw on the outside of the box. If I had just known they would be putting strawberries in the future.. maybe I was ahead of my time. 🙂 Okay… onto your beautiful salad. I have seen asparagus everywhere lately… bought some myself too. What a fun salad. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *