Do you like asparagus, but want something beyond plain, steamed asparagus? Try this refreshing new salad idea from Laurie Jackson of Falcon, Colorado. The black beans, red pepper, cilantro and cumin give it a Southwest twist. Laurie likes to serve this salad with chicken or cheese enchiladas, as well as take it to potlucks.
I made up this recipe when I needed a last-minute potluck dish and I had a lot of asparagus on hand. This salad went over so well that I serve it again and again. No one seems to get tired of it.
—Beverly Scalise of Bend, Oregon
"This salad is a unique way to present this pretty spring vegetable," notes Paula Bass of Washington, North Carolina. Mushrooms and walnuts add interest to the creamy dressing that's poured over the cool cooked spears.
My mom has a large asparagus bed, so I'm kept well-supplied with asparagus all spring. I helped her plant it years ago and have a "My Most Embarrassing Moment" story from that day - I planted all the asparagus with the roots facing up! I still get kidded about it.
Our house is full of asparagus "fans"—my husband, our daughter and I can't get enough of it!
My recipe is one I created years ago. I wanted to serve a cold dish in place of a hot vegetable at a dinner we were having for family and friends, and this salad was the result. I've found people who don't normally care for asparagus enjoy it prepared this way.
My sister served this salad one night when we were dinner guests. It's very easy to prepare, and the cool tangy change from eating asparagus as a hot side dish makes one sit up and take notice. My brother-in-law gets credit for creating the unique delicious salad.
-Kathy Willis, Pryor, Oklahoma
"When I serve this for gourmet dinners, I arrange asparagus spears into a sunburst pattern on a platter, placing orange segments in between," Sue Dannahower shares from Fort Pierce, Florida. "The greens and red onion are mounded in the center."
Southeast Washington is a prime growing area for asparagus, and this recipe is one of the best I've tried using this delicious vegetable. Because it has shrimp and ham, this salad is hearty enough to be served as a main dish.
Asparagus is our favorite vegetable, so when it's in season, I try every possible way to prepare it. This attractive salad appears on our table often. Pickle juice gives the dressing a distinctive flavor.
-Peggy Davies, Canon City, Colorado