White Asparagus Salad Recipe

Celebrate the spring season with the emergence of the delicate and almost luminous white asparagus. As far as white asparagus recipes go, this salad with chilli feta cheese is nothing like you’ve tasted before!

White Asparagus Salad Recipe on a grey plate

Why You’ll Love White Asparagus Salad Recipe

White asparagus marks the start of the spring season. It’s a vegetable that has a very short season, so when they are available, it’s time to grab some to make white asparagus recipes.

For white asparagus lovers, you’re probably familiar with the traditional white asparagus recipes with a strict code of preparation. The most popular ways to eat it are with hollandaise sauce, decadent brown butter, eggs, ham, smoked salmon, boiled potatoes and cheese. 

But if you’re tired of eating white asparagus the same way all the time, you need to try this salad recipe. It still showcases the glorious vegetable accompanied by a chilli infused Persian fetta. This combination is creamy and flavoursome and marries perfectly.

What is White Asparagus?

White asparagus is the same as regular green asparagus but is grown in the absence of light. 

White asparagus is grown under soil or is covered so that it blocks out the sun. This, in turn, prevents photosynthesis from occurring, stopping the development of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what makes plants turn green.

What Does White Asparagus Taste Like?

While it has been proven that white asparagus is the same as green asparagus, there is a taste difference between the 2. It is a bit milder and more tender, with the distinctive difference being that they are slightly bitter. It has a delicate flavour that everyone loves.

Bunch of white asparagus

When is White Asparagus in Season?

White asparagus has a very short season and is only available in the springtime. No better way to celebrate the end of winter!

In Germany, where it is most popular, they are available from mid-April until June 24, St. John the Baptist Day. Yes, it ends on that specific day!

For some other spring time salad you can try with these whte asparagus include Sesame Avocado Cucumber Salad with fresh peas and Roasted Radish Salad with Cauliflower.

Why is White Asparagus So Expensive?

The price of white asparagus isn’t exactly cheap, and even more so in Australia as it’s not grown in abundance. Growing this plant is back-breaking work as, believe it or not, they can grow a few inches in a day!

This means that they have to continually keep an eye on them, so they don’t poke through the mulch and covers. Once they hit the sunlight, their tips will start to colour and be deemed inferior.

The harvesting of white asparagus is labour intensive as it is done by hand. No machine is available to pull them out of the soil without potentially breaking them as they are so delicate. The farmers have a special knife they use to pry them out of the soil.

How to Prepare White Asparagus?

The bitter part of the white asparagus is the skin; hence the outer layer has to be peeled prior to eating. It is also quite stringy and unpleasant to eat. Using a vegetable peeler, start peeling from the bottom of the tip or spear and all the way down. 

Unlike green asparagus where you snap off the woody ends, these precious white asparagus ends are simply cut off. About 1-2 cm will suffice.

The most popular way of cooking would be to boil them, anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes. Although I have seen some say even up to 30 minutes! Steaming, roasting and grilling them are also popular methods.

Recipe Overview

Flavour/Texture: The squash and peas are fairly neutral in flavour, allowing the white asparagus to shine. Soft and delicate, it is accompanied by this ever so creamy Persian fetta and the smoky flavours from the toasted pine nuts.

The Persian fetta is infused in chilli oil, making it spicy, which is such a great combination with the cheese and the white asparagus.

Ease: Unlike most salads, every component does require some cooking. They are, however, easy to do as they are essentially just boiling them for short periods of time. Easy assembly with no salad dressing required.

Time: Total of 30 minutes which includes preparing the white asparagus properly. 

Ingredients

These are the ingredients you need for White Asparagus Salad Recipe:

Individually labelled ingredients for white asparagus salad

White asparagus: If you can, purchase the white asparagus individually so you can choose the perfect ones. Also best if you can try and get them all around the same size for consistent cooking.

Yellow squash: The yellow squash adds some much needed colour to the white asparagus recipe as well as adds extra bulk to the side dish. Choose bright yellow squashes that are firm to the touch.

Pine nuts: A simple dry toast in the frying pan will do.

Peas: Easiest to use frozen peas for this white asparagus recipe. Just be sure they are nice and dry before assembly.

Persian fetta with chilli: Noted that this is not something that can be easily procured, but if you can find something similar, we certainly encourage it!

Variations and Substitutions

White asparagus substitute: If you love this recipe, but white asparagus is not in season, feel free to use green asparagus. Don’t use white asparagus from the can or jar. 

Yellow squash alternative: You can substitute yellow squash with a small zucchini or courgette.

Pine nut replacement: You can use shaved almonds, chopped pistachios or pecans instead of pine nuts. Just make sure they are lightly toasted to release those lovely aromas.

Persian fetta with chilli: You can easily find Persian fetta for this white asparagus recipe. The marinated ones come with many different flavours that will mostly be ok to pair up with the vegetables. If you like the heat but can’t find the flavour, just get normal Persian fetta and drizzle chilli oil on top.

Instructions 

Step by step instructions for how to make White Asparagus Salad Recipe

How to Prepare the White Asparagus Recipe

Take out 3 blocks of Yarra Valley Cheese (YVC) Persian Fetta with Chilli and leave out at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the salad. Allowing the Persian fetta to warm up at room temperature will make it easier for us to spread it on the plate.

Lay white asparagus flat on a chopping board. From the bottom of the tip, peel all the way down the stalk. Cut off the end around 1 cm. Then cut diagonally into 4-5 pieces. Keep the tips to one side.

Peeling white asparagus with a wide peeler
Cutting white asparagus on a diagonal

Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil. Except for the spears, add the white asparagus for 10 minutes. With 4 minutes to go, add the spears into the boiling water. Remove, run under cold water and set aside to dry on paper towels.

Cut the yellow squash into quarters. 

Cutting yellow squash into quarters on a white plate

Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Add yellow squash and peas and boil for 3 minutes. Remove, run under cold water and set aside to dry on paper towels.

Pick out a few nice flat leaf parsley leaves for garnish and set aside. Then chop the rest to yield ⅓ cup.

In a small fry pan, dry toast pine nuts for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool down.

How To Assemble The Salad

Remove about 6 of the best-looking white asparagus spears and set aside for garnish. 

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the remaining white asparagus, chopped parsley, yellow squash, peas, 1 tbsp of pine nuts, 2 tbsp of the YVC Persian Fetta with Chilli oil marinate and some salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss until well combined.

Mixing the ingredients of the white asparagus salad in a glass prep bowl

On a plate, smear the 3 blocks of the room temperature YVC Persian Fetta with Chilli on one side of the plate. Cover only a small area.

Add the tossed salad to the other side of the plate without covering the fetta.

Squashing some feta cheese onto the side of a grey plate with the back of a spoon
Adding mixed white asparagus salad ingredients on top of feta cheese

Sprinkle some pine nuts on top of salad.

Crumble 2 additional blocks (cold from the fridge) on top of the salad. We prefer this cold from the refrigerator as it remains crumbly and easier to scatter on top of the salad before it becomes too warm.

Tuck the nice-looking white asparagus spears around the salad.

Sprinkle the rest of the pine nuts on top and garnish with the nice-looking parsley leaves.

Adding toasted pine nuts on top of white asparagus salad
Crumbling extra feta cheese on top of white asparagus salad

Drizzle another 2 tsp of YVC Persian Fetta with Chilli oil marinate on top.

Adding chilli oil on top of white asparagus salad

Serve the rest of the YVC Persian Fetta with Chilli in a bowl on the side for those who would like more.

Serve.

How to Make This Salad Perfectly [Expert Tips]

Peeling white asparagus: As mentioned above, the outer layer of the white asparagus is bitter and it is also stringy. It doesn’t have a pleasant texture or flavour so you must peel it prior to cooking.

White asparagus tips: The white asparagus spears are cooked for a shorter period as it doesn’t require as much cooking time as the rest of the stalk. If cooked for too long, it would become too soft.

Cheese: 3 blocks of the YVC Persian Fetta with Chilli are taken out at the start of the process to soften and are easier to smear on the plate. 

The additional 2 blocks used to crumble on top of the salad towards the end are preferred cold so that it crumbles better and fluffier; otherwise, it will become too soft when it’s too warm.

Great Mains for This Salad

What to serve with white asparagus salad recipe? Try these delicious main dish recipes:

As spring comes around and white asparagus is in abundance, we tend to eat a little lighter. Nothing quite beats this blackened cod recipe to kick off the season.

For something a little more familiar, try these tender oven BBQ ribs or chimichurri steak. The white asparagus would make for an excellent companion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does white asparagus taste different?

White asparagus has a milder and nuttier flavour compared to its green counterpart. It sometimes also has a slightly bitter flavour even after you peel off the skin. Green asparagus has a more grassy flavour and this is due to the presence of chlorophyll. 

Why do Germans eat white asparagus?

Germans love white asparagus for its milder and nuttier flavour. They are also usually much thicker and stockier. It is so popular there that it has its own season called Spargelzeit, which literally means white asparagus season. It is always highly anticipated and is a popular easter side dish.

How to cook white asparagus?

Much like green asparagus, you can cook white asparagus in numerous ways. The key to making delicious white asparagus recipes is to ensure you peel off the bitter and stringy outer layer.

Be careful not to slice off the spears. You can then fry, roast, blanch, grill or steam the vegetable to the consistency you desire.

The white asparagus’ delicate flavours are so well matched with equally tender yellow squash and the massive, punchy flavours of the YVC Persian Fetta with Chilli. 

The oil is incredibly fragrant and shouldn’t be dismissed as just the marinate but rather a flavour enhancer. This was a truly satisfying springtime salad recipe!

That’s all!

More Fancy Salad Recipes

White Asparagus Salad Recipe on a grey plate
White Asparagus Salad Recipe on a grey plate
Print Recipe
4.97 from 58 votes

White Asparagus Salad Recipe

Celebrate the spring season with the emergence of the delicate and almost luminous white asparagus. As far as white asparagus recipes go, this salad with chilli feta cheese is nothing like you’ve tasted before!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: International
Suitable for Diet: Vegetarian
Additional Dietary: Egg Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 224kcal
Author: Amy Chung

Ingredients

  • 180 g Yarra Valley Cheese Persian Fetta with Chilli
  • 16 asparagus, white
  • 4 yellow squash, patty pan
  • 125 g peas
  • cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.

Instructions

Salad

  • Take out 3 blocks of Yarra Valley Cheese (YVC) Persian Fetta with Chilli and leave out at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  • Lay white asparagus flat on a chopping board. From the bottom of the tip, peel all the way down the stalk. Cut off the end around 1 cm. Then cut diagonally into 4-5 pieces. Keep the tips to one side.
  • Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil. Except for the tips, add the white asparagus for 10 minutes. With 4 minutes to go, add the tips into the boiling water. Remove, run under cold water and set aside to dry on paper towels.
  • Cut the yellow squash into quarters.
  • Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Add yellow squash and peas and boil for 3 minutes. Remove, run under cold water and set aside to dry on paper towels.
  • Pick out a few nice flat leaf parsley leaves for garnish and set aside. Then chop the rest to yield 1/3 cup.
  • In a small fry pan, dry toast pine nuts for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool down.

Assembly

  • Remove about 6 of the best-looking white asparagus tips and set aside for garnish.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the remaining white asparagus, chopped parsley, yellow squash, peas, 1 tbsp of pine nuts, 2 tbsp of the YVC Persian Fetta with Chilli oil marinate and some salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss until well combined.
  • On a plate, smear the 3 blocks of the room temperature YVC Persian Fetta with Chilli on one side of the plate. Cover only a small area.
  • Add the tossed salad to the other side of plate without covering the fetta.
  • Crumble 2 additional blocks (cold from the fridge) on top of the salad.
  • Tuck the nice-looking white asparagus tips around the salad.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the pine nuts on top and garnish with the nice-looking parsley leaves.
  • Drizzle another 2 tsp of YVC Persian Fetta with Chilli oil marinate on top.
  • Serve the rest of the YVC Persian Fetta with Chilli in a bowl on the side for those who would like more.
  • Serve.

Notes

  • 3 blocks of the YVC Persian Fetta with Chilli is taken out at the start of the process so that it will soften and is easier to smear on the plate. The additional 2 blocks used to crumble on top of the salad towards the end is preferred cold so that it crumbles better and fluffier as otherwise it will become too soft when it’s too warm.
  • If white asparagus is not in season, just use the green asparagus. Don’t use the white asparagus from the can or jar.
  • The tips of the white asparagus is cooked for a shorter period of time as it doesn’t require as much cooking time as the rest of the stalk. If cooked or too long it would become too soft.
  • You can substitute yellow squash with a small zucchini or courgette.
  • You can use almonds, pistachios or pecans instead of pine nuts. Just make sure they are lightly toasted too to release those lovely aromas.
  • Frozen or fresh peas can be used for this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 512mg | Potassium: 805mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1726IU | Vitamin C: 56mg | Calcium: 281mg | Iron: 3mg

*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.

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9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This looks incredible, I love white asparagus! Can’t wait to make it.

  2. 5 stars
    Lovely salad. I think I saw white asparagus in the store. I will make this.

  3. Jessica Stroup says:

    5 stars
    Such a unique recipe! Love this!

  4. Chef Dennis says:

    5 stars
    This is my kind of salad! Looks so tasty!

4.97 from 58 votes (54 ratings without comment)

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