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Horizontal overhead image of a white ceramic bowl of asparagus with walnuts, dried fruit, and freshly grated cheese, on a gray and white marble slab on top of a brown wood surface.

Warm Asparagus Salad with Dates, Roasted Walnuts, and Pecorino

  • Author: Kelli McGrane
  • Total Time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Tossed with a homemade vinaigrette, this warm asparagus salad is an impressive, yet simple way to get your family to eat more vegetables.


  • 2 pounds asparagus, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 ¼ cups walnuts halves and pieces
  • ¾ cup pitted Medjool dates, sliced in quarters lengthwise
  • 2 ounces freshly grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Spread walnuts in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 8 minutes, or until lightly golden and fragrant. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  3. While the walnuts are cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Place sliced asparagus in boiling water and cover. Blanch for 2 minutes, or until slightly soft and vibrant green.
  4. Using tongs, immediately transfer the asparagus to a large bowl of ice water. Soak in the ice bath for 5 minutes. Drain water from bowl and then pat the vegetables dry with a paper towel. Place blanched asparagus in a large serving bowl.
  5. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the minced shallot, lemon juice, olive oil, remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
  6. Add roasted walnuts, sliced dates, and grated cheese to the serving bowl. Drizzle the dressing on top and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Category: Vegetables
  • Method: Stovetop, Roasting
  • Cuisine: Salad

Keywords: asparagus, spring, salad, Medjool dates, Pecorino cheese, walnuts