Cucumber asparagus salad was a big hit at my house! The flavor combinations of the vegetables blend perfectly with the delightful vinaigrette. This salad is quick and easy to assemble and every part of it can be made ahead and assembled on site if you have company coming or need to take a dish to a gathering.
When preparing the asparagus, I usually cut mine to about four or five inches in length. I want to be sure that none of the chewy ends remain, especially since this asparagus isn’t cooked to reach full tenderness. I keep my cut ends and put them in the freezer to use later for a homemade vegetable stock.
The asparagus is cut in half for this recipe, for ease of eating. It’s also easier to blend and toss the asparagus into the salad if it isn’t full stalks. This spreads the asparagus flavor throughout the salad. I didn’t halve all of my asparagus stalks, only those that were over 1/4-inch in width. Thin stalks are great just as they are.
I prefer to use English cucumber in most recipes. I like the stronger cucumber aroma and flavor and they are always available at my neighborhood grocer. But, any kind of cucumber will work here.
To make the cucumber ribbons, use your potato peeler to make a first cut on one side of the cucumber. Throw out the first cut from each side, as they consist of peeling only. Once you make the first cut, all cuts after that will be a ribbon of cucumber. Slice the ribbons until you see the seeds in the center of the cucumber, then stop and move to another side. Continue until all ribbons are cut. Toss out the extra peelings and the seeds.
For the vinaigrette, I used only two tablespoons each of olive oil and lemon juice. There are only two of us at my house, so this amount was perfect. If you are worried that this dressing won’t be enough, or if you are doubling the salad recipe, you can double the dressing and keep any leftovers in the refrigerator.
This recipe was adapted from The Garlic Diaries. If you love salads, you might want to have a look at my salad section for more ideas.
Cucumber Asparagus Salad
This salad is as pretty as it is tasty. A delightful blend of flavors, perfect as a main dish or a side salad. Good to serve company or to have as lunch.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the ends off the asparagus spears, leaving each spear 4 to 5 inches long. Cut any spears wider than 1/4-inch in half lengthwise.
Place all asparagus spears onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Squeeze or drizzle the teaspoon of lemon juice over all, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
Bake for 5 minutes, remove from oven, toss, and bake another 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, make cucumber ribbons using a potato peeler.
Mix all the vinaigrette ingredients in a measuring glass or small bowl. Blend well.
To assemble the salad, line a platter or large serving bowl with the arugula. Place the ribbons on top of that, then the asparagus on top, arranging for presentation. Add chopped green onion or shallot.
Drizzle the entire salad with the vinaigrette or serve it with the salad and add to each serving. This recipes makes two large salads or four dinner salads.