Roast Asparagus, Feta, Almonds & Sourdough Croutons

Typically, the short asparagus season ends around the summer solstice, so it's a good idea to make the most of the last of the crop before the cooler weather arrives. Once the asparagus season is over, grill plump spring onions work well instead. For this salad, the spears are roasted to enhance their flavour, but they still retain a good crunch.

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Serves
2 As A Main, 4 As A Starter
Ingredients
Ingredients
2 slices of slightly stale sourdough or good-quality wholemeal bread, crusts removed
3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
100g of almonds (skin on), roughly chopped
500g of asparagus (at least 16 spears)
1 Little Gem lettuce, divided into leaves
150g of good-quality feta
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt & black pepper
Method
Step 1
Pre-heat the oven to 230°C/Fan 210°C/Gas 8. Cut the bread into 1cm cubes and place in a bowl with 2 tbsp of the olive oil and some salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
Step 2
Scatter the bread cubes on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5 minutes until golden brown and crunchy. Tip the croutons onto a plate and allow to cool.
Step 3
Spread the chopped almonds out on the baking tray and toast in the oven for 3 minutes then set aside to cool.
Step 4
Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and cut the spears in half on the diagonal. Place on a baking tray, trickle over the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus in the oven for 4 minutes, then remove and set aside for a few minutes to cool slightly.
Step 5
Transfer the roasted asparagus to a large bowl and add the almonds, lettuce leaves and croutons. Crumble in the feta cheese, then trickle over the lemon juice. Add a touch more seasoning if you feel it needs it and serve.

River Cottage Great Salads by Gelf Alderson (Bloomsbury Publishing, £17.99). Photography by Emma Lee 

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