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Balsamic Asparagus Salad

Allow enough time to let the flavors blend for at least an hour when making this salad; that’s one of the secrets to why it tastes so delicious. If you're short on time, use 1/2 cup prepared balsamic vinaigrette instead of making it from scratch. —Dolores Brigham, Inglewood, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Dash salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cooked bacon or bacon bits


  • In a large saucepan, bring 1 in. of water to a boil. Add asparagus; cover and boil for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and immediately place asparagus in ice water. Drain and pat dry. Transfer to a large bowl; add the onion, red pepper and cranberries.
  • In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper; shake well. Pour over asparagus mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, stir in almonds and bacon.

Test Kitchen tips
  • It's important to cool the asparagus immediately after cooking— otherwise it continues to cook and gets soft and mushy.
  • If you need to make the salad more than a day ahead of time, don't add the dressing. Keep separate in the refrigerator up to 2 days. Toss the two together an hour before you're ready to serve.
  • In order to keep asparagus fresh longer, place the cut stems in a container of cold water—similar to flowers in a vase. Place container in the refrigerator, changing the water at least once every 2 days.
  • When buying asparagus, look for firm, straight, uniform-size spears. The tips should be closed and dry.
  • Nutrition Facts
    3/4 cup: 139 calories, 9g fat (1g saturated fat), 3mg cholesterol, 208mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 2 fat.

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    Average Rating:
    • kimspacc
      Jul 26, 2019

      Delicious dressing. Great with fresh bread.

    • Kristy
      Jul 13, 2019

      One of the best salads I've ever ever eaten. It's the perfect combination of flavors and textures.