Asparagus Salad with Lemon & Spring Greens

My yoga instructor is teaching us the ancient Hindu Rasas―a conceptualization of nine different emotions and how they play into our approach  to living. They include: Love, Joy, Anger, Peace, Wonder, Courage, Sadness, Fear, and Disgust. Today we examined Courage. During our class, it meant cultivating the courage to move into some deep back bends. Back bends are difficult for many people, myself included. I’m not naturally limber in my spine and  just the preparation for a deep back bend can be challenging. Back bending also challenges us to have the courage to explore what is behind us. Whether it be a wall to reach to for support or another student  spotting us to safety, it takes courage to trust that what or who we cannot see is really there―that the support will be there when we need it to shield us from possible injury or even embarrassment when things don’t go right. It’s a wild challenge.

Off the mat, each day is filled with little challenges that take courage to face. Waking every morning is an act of courage. Keeping a commitment to tending family and garden are acts of courage. Taking a stand for honesty and fairness in a political climate that is feeding us the opposite, takes courage. Spring, the season of transition, takes the courage to believe everything will sprout and come alive again. We need to see past the snow melting and the mud under our feet, to trust that soon all will be fragrant and welcoming.

One of my favorite signs of spring is the asparagus showing up at the markets. Those green stalks are what I crave this time of year.

This salad of Roasted Asparagus with Spring Greens is perfect for this moment. The asparagus is roasted with a bit of olive oil until colorful and tender, then topped with fresh lemon zest and juice, some roasted tomatoes, fresh basil, and spring greens. It’s a light meal fully on it’s own. Or try it with a loaf of bread and cheese, some chilled ale, and fresh fruit for dessert. Enjoy the fresh pleasure of this simple salad.

I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.


Asparagus Salad with Lemon & Spring Greens

Yield: 6 to 8 Servings


  • 2 large bunches asparagus, trimmed and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Grated zest and juice of one lemon
  • ¼ cup prepared oven roasted tomatoes with their oil
  • Handful slivered basil
  • Handful micro-greens or pea shoots
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Spread the asparagus evenly on the sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven and roast until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  3. Place the cooled asparagus on a decorative serving platter. Sprinkle with lemon zest and juice.
  4. Top with the roasted tomatoes and oil, followed by the basil and greens. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve and enjoy.

One year ago: Golden Flecked Eggs

Two years ago: Strawberry Jam Cake

Three years ago: Quinoa Mini-cakes

Four years ago: Peanut Butter Crunch Cookies

Five years ago: Crispy Oatmeal Cookies

Dena Testa Bray has been writing Gathering Flavors, a culinary blog, since 2011. She is a trained chef & ran a home based cooking school. Dena now designs websites, focusing on work with creative people. You can see her website work at She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and family.