Tomato & Asparagus Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Spring is still in my air here in Houston and I continue to find vegetable dishes that are packed with flavor. This is such a great salad with so many fresh flavors.  If you make the vinaigrette ahead, you could have this on a weeknight, but I think it is special enough to serve at a luncheon or a dinner party. I just love all those colors.
That's all I have to say about this... it's just good.  Today, I'm working on putting together a few menus for a catering job so I'm looking for inspiration for what to serve at a baby shower.  Have any bite size favorites you would like to share?

 From my little kitchen to yours... Enjoy.

Tomato & Asparagus Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette
Adapted from Peace Meals, Junior League Houston
Recipe Notes
You might gasp a little when you see the price tag on champagne vinaigrette.  There seem to be varieties that are expensive.  I bought the most inexpensive jar and it has lasted me a long time so it turned out to be a good investment.  Unless you like your salads drowning in dressing, you will also have plenty left over to use for another salad or to make this again.  Blanching is simply cooking a vegetable in boiling water for a few minutes to bring out it's color and then shocking it with cold ice water so that the cooking stops.  If you would like an in depth refresher, click here.
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 cup Champagne vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
coarse salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
dash of sugar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
for the salad:
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, any color, halved
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Step by Step
Crush the garlic clove with the side of a knife blade.  The the clove (leaving it in one piece) to a mixing bowl.  Add the vinegar, pepper, and a dash of salt; allow to sit for 30 minutes.  Remove and discard the garlic.  Whisk in the mustard and sugar; slowly add the olive oil, whisking constantly to emulsify.
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Blanch (see note above) the asparagus for 1 to 2 minutes.  Drain and rinse under cold water.  Combing the asparagus and tomatoes in a medium bowl.  Add the cheese and toss with desired amount of the vinaigrette; season with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate for up to four hours.  Toss again before serving and adjust the seasonings as needed.  

Store extra vinaigrette in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Serves 6-8.


  1. I served YOUR lemon cupcakes at a shower and they were a huge hit!

  2. OH YUM! :-) I am TOTALLY trying this out!!!! :-) Perfect for spring!

  3. How delightful! As far as baby shower favorites, I usually do a trio of salads if it is around lunch time.

  4. The vibrant colors of that salad make me want to devour a whole bowl! I'm so enamored with it!

  5. So colourful! Have to keep an eye out for champagne vinegar now!

  6. Beautiful salad...love all the ingredients in it...so pretty and colorful. Have a wonderful week ahead Ashlea :-)

  7. Mmmm so pretty and fresh! The salad sounds yummy and refreshing :)

  8. I can't wait for spring! Your asperagus look wonderful - i am jealous! Such a pretty salad.

  9. I am going to make this for a dinner party tomorrow night to serve with grilled chicken. I took your advice and made the dressing last night. Wish me luck!

  10. From a fellow food52er who is currently visiting Houston (first time inthe States) andwas thrilled to see youwere from the Lonestart State. I have had an interesting week of wedge salads, texas toast and iced tea. I just felt a need to share all that with you.....seeing as we're breathing the same air right now. X X X

  11. For bitesized treats, i've been toying with the idea of getting little thin pastry cups, and filling them with a simple dip like hummus, muhammara or baba ghanoush then finishing off with a touch of paprika/driedmint/sumac and topping with chopped coriander/parsley/fresh mint.

  12. The last baby shower I helped with, I made your goat cheese stuffed tomatoes and a couple of types of tea sandwiches so everything was pick up food. They were a huge hit! Those bitesized treats that Kitchen Butterfly is talking about sound amazing too.

  13. I love asparagus - what a colorful dish. It would go great in summer for a light meal with fish, wine and finished off with a cup of espresso from my breville espresso machine!


  14. Champagne vinaigrette makes me want to make this for a bridal shower or another such fancy outing, but at the same time I love the idea of treating it to myself on a normal day :)

  15. Nice salad, love the colors and I love champagne vinaigrette...I get mine at Trade Joe's :-) Have a great week!