Side dish/ Vegetables

Asparagus Squared

Asparagus Salad Squared and I’m not even good at math.

I watch a lot of tv I have to admit, but most of it is food related shows (almost). I perched myself in front of the TV nursing sore knees while in Chicago a few months ago (before knee surgery). We were watching “Check Please” on PBS where they have three people on a panel and they recommend their favorite restaurants; and then the others on the panel go to the restaurant and check it out themselves. Now that is a job I could do and not even get paid to do it.

So, this one guest’s restaurant was the Pasta D’Arte. I’m not even sure what this group of people sampled from the restaurant but after looking at the restaurant’s website I found a salad that was so interesting looking I just had to try and make it. Only thing is that you really need small asparagus because each salad takes 8 spears and that’s a lot of asparagus for anyone to eat even if you love asparagus.

I’m probably the only person alive that likes canned asparagus. Of course, I would take fresh over canned anytime but there’s just something about the soft mushy asparagus that comes in a can that makes me think of a cheesy asparagus casserole my sister and I use to make when we were both newly weds. But, this recipe would only look beautiful made with fresh thin asparagus.

Ok, so this could be any asparagus tomato salad but it’s the presentation that makes it special.

I threw the baby asparagus onto my stove top grill and browned just a little bit.

These were mixed heirloom tomatoes and there were several colors in the carton.

After grilling, cut into thirds.

Take 8 pieces of asparagus per salad and make one square on plate with ends extending over the ends of each other, then add another row of asparagus. Drizzle some really good olive oil around the edge of the plate and dot with some fig balsamic vinegar.

Asparagus Squared


  • small asparagus 8 pieces per serving)
  • 1/2-3/4 c. mild blue cheese crumbled (or any crumbly type cheese)
  • 1 c. each red and orange grape tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 c. fig balsamic vinegar
  • balsamic reduction or a good balsamic vinegar


  1. Drizzle or brush a little olive oil over the asparagus. Grill or broil just long enough to get some grill marks on the asparagus. Set aside until ready to assemble.
  2. Chop the red and orange tomatoes into quarters (or smaller). Drizzle this with a little olive oil and some fig balsamic vinegar or balsamic reduction glaze. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix in as much of the blue cheese as you want.
  3. To assemble, Make square of 4 pieces of asparagus on salad plates, criss-cross four more pieces like you were building a log cabin. In the center of the asparagus add the tomato blue cheese mixture. Drizzle a little more olive oil around the edge of the plate and dot with some fig balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic). Top with some slivered basil or other herb of your choice.

My finished asparagus salad.

Asparagus salad from Pasta D’Arte menu.

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