Roasted Asparagus Salad with Preserved Lemon is sure to appear many times in your spring and summer menus - as a light lunch, part of a buffet, or an inspired side to a sumptuous supper.
For ease of browsing, here are all my salad recipes in one place.
Roasted Asparagus Salad with Preserved Lemon - your new Favorite Spring and Summer Salad
This simple roasted asparagus salad with preserved lemon celebrates citrus and spring. When tomato season begins, the fresh flavor of this salad will just explode.
Roasting the asparagus accentuates the best of the beautiful green spears. You certainly can serve this dish on the warm side, but you don't have to, offering the flexibility to make this ahead of time at your convenience.
The fresh tomatoes complement the cooked asparagus, just as the fresh lemon juice plays counterpoint with the preserved lemons. For crunch, protein, and texture, add some toasted pistachios, slivered almonds or pine nuts.
Serving as a light lunch? Add some cheese - crumbled goat or feta are both excellent options. Have some fresh herbs around such as chives or basil - add some in too, but there is plenty of flavor just from the lemon and veggies.
Hope you enjoy this roasted asparagus salad with preserved lemon and the full #ProgressiveEats menu celebrating the sweet, tart, tangy flavors of citrus.
Preserved Lemons - your new Favorite Condiment
Complete transparency: I live in California and I have a Meyer Lemon tree that produces lemons year round. I also co-lead a virtual cooking community called Tasting Jerusalem that focuses on ingredients of the Middle East.
And, you guessed it, preserved lemons (of Moroccan descent) are frequently used in many Middle Eastern cuisines. So they are second nature to me. So much so that my husband recently admonished me when I told someone how easy it is to make this salad as though everyone has preserved lemons sitting in their fridge.
So if your first thought is I don't have preserved lemons, I don't know where to buy them, and I don't know how to make them, I'm here to solve that problem.
By the end of this post, you'll be wondering: Why don't I have preserved lemons in my fridge? It might even become your new favorite condiment and source of umami in your kitchen!
How to Make Preserved Lemons
Preserved lemons are simply salted lemons left to sit in their own juices for about a month. It's really that simple. Check out my preserved lemon post for detailed step-by-step directions and even a video of me making them. Also consider joining my Tasting Jerusalem Facebook group for lots of ideas of how to use them.
You actually use the rind to cook with but the pulp, though salty, is a great way to flavor soups and stews - just be sure to reduce the salt called for in the recipe. And the juice in the jar? Perfect for sauces, dressings, marinades, pastas and so much more.
Don't want to make your own preserved lemons? Order them or buy them at a local Middle Eastern market, specialty grocery or kitchen supply store like Sur La Table.
Other OMG! Yummy recipes with preserved lemons
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Roasted Asparagus Salad with Preserved LemonBeth Lee
- 1.5 pounds asparagus trimmed
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 preserved lemon rind set pulp aside
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt or use a bit of the salty pulp
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- ⅓ cup crumbled goat or feta cheese
- 1 teaspoon preserved lemon juice from the jar of preserved lemons
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F or 375 convect.
- Lay the asparagus on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Sprinkle it with the olive oil, pepper, salt (or pulp), and chopped rind and toss together.
- Roast in the oven for seven minutes until the asparagus is tender when pricked with a fork. Thicker spears may take a bit longer, thinner spears less. Do not overcook. Set the cooked asparagus aside to cool.
- While the asparagus cooks and cools, slice tomatoes in half, toast pistachios (a few minutes at 325 degrees F in a toaster oven or heated in a pan will do it), and crumble your cheese if needed.
- Also combine the preserved lemon juice and fresh lemon juice.
- When the asparagus has cooled a bit, slice the spears into two inch pieces and toss in a serving bowl. When you remove the asparagus from the parchment paper, you will see a bit of juicy olive oil and some lemon rind left behind. Add it to the serving/mixing bowl. It becomes part of the dressing.
- Add the tomatoes and preserved and fresh lemon juice and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning. Then top with the pistachios and cheese and serve. If serving later, chill the tomatoes and asparagus and hold the nuts and cheese aside until you plan to serve it.
A Citrus Feast
Cocktails & Other Beverages
- Blackberry Lime Margaritas from The Redhead Baker
- Orange Frosty, from the Orange Appeal Cookbook, Creative Culinary
- Asparagus Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette (Gluten-Free) from The Heritage Cook
- Crab and Mango Salad with Spicy Lime Dressing in Endive from A Chef's Kitchen
- Fish with Lemon Caper Sauce from Mother Would Know
- Stir-Fried Crispy Orange Beef from Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Roasted Asparagus Salad with Preserved Lemon from OMG Yummy
- Cauliflower Scampi in a Garlic Lemon Sauce from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Glazed Lemon Pound Cake from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Fruited Orange Summer Dessert Salad with Orange Marmalade Whipped Cream from Life's a Feast
Little Cooking Tips
This is such a great salad, plus it's super healthy! We have never tried preserved lemons before, and we will definitely use your method with the ones we get from Panos' parents in Evia, where they have 3-4 lemon trees with lots of produce. At times, both us and they give them to friends and neighbors and still we can't consume them all. With your method, we can keep them for the summer, which would be amazing!
Is the flavor of the rind changed this way? Does it get sweeter and less bitter?
We bet this salad would taste great with manouri as well (a sweeter white cheese), we can't wait to try it out!
Yes the rind gets soft and less bitter. You use salt to preserve so of course they can also be salty so when you use them, either rinse them off OR don't add additional salt to the dish. The manouri sounds like a great cheese for this salad! If you have any other questions about preserving Panos' parents' lemons - just drop me a note!
Thank you for this awesome looking and healthy recipe! Can’t wait to try it
Cool Kitchen Utensil
I really need to get comfy with preserved lemons. I usually use lemon juice and zest all the time (even dried lemons), but never tried preserved lemons.
I meant to tell people about using lemon juice and zest as a sub. You should totally start a jar - you will love them Laura - I promise.
Coleen @ The Redhead Baker
How delicious! I had no idea that preserved lemons were so easy to make!
Yes! So easy with such a unique flavor payoff!
Oh Beth, I so envious of your year-round lemons! I grabbed the last of the Meyer lemons at my store a couple weeks ago and started a new batch of preserved lemons. Definitely a fantastic pantry staple! And I hadn't thought to use some of the juice for dressings, etc. Excellent tip. There's so much to love in this salad and I appreciate how versatile it is...herbs, cheese, nuts? Yes please.
I hope you have a lovely weekend ahead! xoxoxo
Planning to do some resting and catching up on stuff this weekend after a really exhausting few weeks. Some of it very good and as will always be for us, some just plain sad. We just enjoyed a special golf trip on the southern Oregon coast and then I moderated a luncheon yesterday and had a promotional table before. Put a lot of effort into preparing but definitely worth it. How is everything with you? I think, by the way, you really would love this salad.
I'm quite sure I will love this salad!! I'll shoot you a note and catch up. xx
Such a lovely spring salad! I never thought to do asparagus with preserved lemon but it's a genius combination! With feta or goat cheese is even better!
Right? Wish I had a bowl of it right now!
Barbara | Creative Culinary
Well looks like I'm a preserved lemon virgin...but that needs to change doesn't it? I love the flavor combinations of this salad; I could eat ALL the asparagus Beth!
It was a big hit at Passover esp w my nephew's new girlfriend - I got props for being the cool cooking aunt that night
Jane, The Heritage Cook
We were on the same wavelength this month and I love the way you used nearly the same ingredients. Beautiful flavors create a totally different experience. I haven't played with preserved lemons yet and this looks like the perfect way to start!
You will love them! And you are close enough to me - if you want to plan a get-together to start a jar and use my Meyers - I am up for that! And by the way - great minds ...
Preserved lemons are indeed a wonderful ingredient, and I love the idea of using the juice in things. I've never even considered that, but I certainly will now! Your asparagus dish looks incredibly inviting!!
The juice is so good - it will add so much zing to your incredibly creative cooking !!
I have a tree full of lemons and have wanted to try preserving some. Thanks for the great instructions as well as a delicious sounding recipe.
Do it and let me know if you have any questions!
I used to always have a jar of preserved lemons in my fridge, but lately I've been falling down on the job. This post (and the scrumptious salad) remind me that I've got to get back in the preserved lemon habit. I'm so jealous of you, with a Meyer lemon tree. But at least I can share in your amazing roasted asparagus salad.
Well I'm thinking you've been a bit busy Laura! But get back on the horse and make some. If shipping prices weren't so high I'd send you a box of Meyers!!
I love preserved lemons in salads. I love the idea and flavors of this salad. I always have preserved lemons in my pantry <3
And I would expect nothing less! What is your favorite way to use them?
I'm lucky to live in France where preserved lemons are common and sold at the markets from the folks who sell olives. We do a lot of North African couscous and tagines so use a lot of preserved lemons but I never thought to use them like this... in a fresh spring asparagus salad! This is a great summer side dish! I also need to try roasting asparagus!
I am a huge fan of roasting veggies - even fruit! Glad I can inspire someone as creative as you to try something new!
I adore preserved lemons and have a jar in my fridge waiting for this recipe! What a lovely addition to a spring menu---can't wait to give it a try!!
If you have a jar then you are ready to go - hope you enjoy it!