Sure, we all know about salads that don’t include lettuce: tuna salad, chicken salad, potato salad, bean salad, fruit salad… and the list goes on; but then, you start to think about a salad with tomatoes, and Feta cheese, and asparagus, and you automatically expect lettuce of some sort.
But you really shouldn’t need to.
This salad is loaded with lettuce-compatible veggies and stuff, but, when I served it, nobody was missing the leafy greens.
All these veggies and the tomato and cheese are sturdier than lettuce, too, so you can dress them a bit ahead of time, if needs be, and no worries about wilting.
•1 bunch fresh asparagus
•Grape tomatoes, halved
•English or Persian cucumber
•Your fave oil and vinegar or Italian
First things first, you’ll need to blanch your asparagus, which is really simple.
Wash the asparagus and cut of the woody ends – I know, “everybody” snaps them to determine which bits are tender; but that just wastes perfectly good asparagus – cut off the bottom inch or so of your spears and you should be fine.
Add the trimmed asparagus to a wide bowl and cover with water while you prep the water by adding one tablespoon of salt to a large pot of water – this will help to ‘refresh’ your asparagus before blanching.
Bring the water to a rolling bowl, then transfer the asparagus from the bowl to the pan and cook for two or three minutes, depending on the thickness of your asparagus, until the stalks are bright green and tender-crisp.
Transfer the asparagus immediately to a bowl of ice water to stop the stalks from cooking any more and lock that lovely bright green color in.
Drain the asparagus well and set aside.
When ready to put your salad together, slice the asparagus into two inch pieces and add to a large bowl with the tomato.
I also added quartered and sliced English cucumber, sliced hard-cooked egg, and some thinly sliced onion.
Note: I used sweet onion, but red onion would really work a treat here. It is just not my husband’s favorite, so…
Crumble the Feta over all, then chill until ready to serve, or dress and toss and serve.
Who needs lettuce?