Sunday, 15 May 2011

Asparagus and Radish Pasta Salad

Ah the British asparagus season has begun in earnest and we've enjoyed a couple of bundles so far. 

Although I've cooked with asparagus many times, for some reason it still doesn't inspire me much in the kitchen.  It does get me to use our asparagus steaming pot, though I wonder why I bother with it when the asparagus falls out from the sides of the metal basket.  I do think the best way to enjoy asparagus is steamed and simply drizzled in some flavoured oil or served with a thick sauce such as hollandaise.
This reminds me that the most and only expensive meal I've ever had was for my belated honeymoon in Paris.  For starter, we had White Asparagus that served with an excellent zesty sauce. Was it worth every euro? Well let's say I'll never forget it.

Well no fat fancy white asparagus here, only the long traditional spear headed green ones.  I made a simple Asparagus pasta salad, seasoned lightly with salt and pepper and then drizzled with equal quantity of good olive oil and white wine vinegar.  It looked a little insipid, so I minced some flat leaf parsley and added some raw blushing peppery radishes to it.  And because I wanted to show my husband that I do love and appreciate him at this trying time in our lives, I cut some of the radishes into heart shapes.   He just smiled, knowing deep down they were there for me too.
This is my entry for this month's No Croutons Required (NCR) which encourages bloggers to create either a vegetarian soup or salad incorporating a specified ingredient, in this case its Asparagus. NCR is alternately hosted between the Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen, who is this months host.
I hope you enjoy the simplicity of this seasonal Asparagus and Radish Pasta salad. 


  1. I am so touched by your beautiful post... The heartfelt feelings and memories in your photos, your dish, and your words are truly moving... Thank you so much for your uplifting words to us too... Sending hugs across the blog miles! :-)

  2. That looks and I bet tastes gorgeous. And what a lovely finishing touch the heart shaped radishes (an idea I'll be pinching later!!).

    Sue xx

  3. The heart shape radishes are soooo romantic... ohhh... i may want to try this for my hubby :)

  4. What a wonderful pasta with those radishes. I'm sure your husband will love it.

    It's important to appreciate those who are closet to us once in a while.

  5. I have been eating asparagus most days this past 2 weeks. I love it! I have looked at recipes but by and large I have kept it simple. So nice to eat in season, when I lived in Oxford I was able to buy it from a shed next to the farmer's field - lovely.

    Even had it on pizza last night....

  6. This looks simple and delicious! Love the radish hearts :).

  7. Seeing your yummy pasta dish reminds me that I haven't eaten pasta in awhile. Time to break that streak with this dish!

  8. We love radish (grew five varieties this year), and I love how you made the slices into hearts.

    As for the white asparagus..was it good? I have never tasted any and didn't think I would like it... you said "won't forget it" and I trust your opinion so will try it in the future if I have the opportunity.

  9. I love the addition of radishes! It must give a great fresh bite to the sometimes over used pasta salad. So happy that asparagus season is here, too.

  10. Hy,
    very interesting recipe with inviting clicks..
    new to your blog...gorgeous space you your presentation..
    Am your proud follower now..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite
    Event: Letz Relishh Ice Creams

  11. Hehe, I don't even *like* radish, but I think the hearts are a really cute addition. I am loving this time of year for the asparagus though, and I think it goes with pasta really well.

  12. The heart shaped radishes are such a nice touch to this yummy looking pasta salad.

  13. Important to make the most of the Asparagus season! White...mmm.. sounds really posh, I think I've only had those botteled ones as a child and really didnt like it. But then again, I was rather picky as a child. I bought a couple of bunches of asparagus the other day at hubby's request to make another risotto.

    Regarding Nadia's book... It's a good read as it's really funny, but I wouldnt recommend it to a vegetarian. My mum's a veggie and I would never buy her this book. There are obviously some vegetarian recipes but not enough to make it worth the purchase. There's quite a bit I dont eat in there as well so I more enjoy it for the read rather than anything else :)

  14. Thank you so much Astra.
    It so kind of you.
    Welcoming you hugs across the blog miles! :-)

    Thank you Sue.
    Feel free to take whatever you want from this blog, I write it to share.

    Thank you Food Glorious Food.
    Please do try it for your hubby :)

    Thank you Moyra.
    He liked the asparagus more than the radishes.

  15. Ray,
    I agree best to be simple with asparagus.
    I haven't come across Scottish asparagus yet, just English but for me that fine - its better than imported. Lucky that you were able to get some direct from the farmer.

    Mmm liking the idea of it on pizza.

    Thank you Charlie.
    The radish hearts do make the pasta salad come to life :)

    Thank you Yummychunklet.
    I wonder whats gonna be in your pasta?!

    Thank you Gardeningbren.
    I do like eating radishes and like you grown a variety once upon a time. Hope to do that again, maybe next year.

    I liked the white asparagus, though I can't remember the difference in flaovur now, but it was def. 'meatier' in texture. When I wrote "won't forget it" I was partly referring to the price we paid to eat it :) and partly to the experience.

  16. Thank you foodfeud.
    It def. gave a great fresh bite to the pasta salad.

    Thank you Jay.
    Its lovely to make your acquaintance.
    Thank you so much for becoming a follower:)
    I will def. come by your blog later today.

    Thanks Greedy Rosie.
    A way to win a girls heart is to give her some heart radishes, well it won you over.
    Yes asparagus is at its best now and must be enjoyed to the fullest because the season will pass us by rather quickly.

    Thank you so much Sally.

    So true LF.
    If you get the chance to try white asparagus please do so, I am sure it tastes superior to the bottled variety.

    I've been thinking about making Asparagus risotto, may do before the season is out.

    Thanks for letting me know re Nadia's cookbook.
    I'll still probalby flick through it if i see it on the bookshelves :)

  17. Asparagus is my Mr's fave veg so I must try this one. Love your interesting recipes ...

  18. Thank you so much Vintage Jane.

  19. That was a lovely link and your time in Paris sounds wonderful. I adore white asparagus. As for your banana crepe, I am not surprised since you like bananas so well. Mine was amongst the lost comments when Blogger went down recently. Regarding your banana curd and other recipes, I said that the bananas here are very unlike those where I grew up in that they have little taste until spotted as they are picked green. Do you find the same?

  20. This is truely a lovely recipe, very good colour combination, too. And I sincerely hope your husband appreciated such a beautiful note of love. If not tell me, I'm in England next week, I'll come to Scotland and give him a mouthful :))

    Nice to have you on NCR; I submitted a recipe, too. Pasta and asparagus really seems to be en vogue these days :)

  21. Thank you e.
    I'd love to go back to Paris and when I do, hopefully the sun will be shining.

    I do remember reading, posting and responding to your original comment before they got lost in cyberspace. Bananas here tend to be very green too. I allow them to ripen a little on the window sill before enjoying au naturale, but they only go into cooking such as the
    banana curd recipe when they are covered in black spots. So my answer to your question is Yes. Warm wishes

    Thank you so much for your lovely comment Torwen.
    I can happily report that my husband appreciated this pasta dish :) But like to thank you for you offer of coming up to come to Scotland to give him a piece of your mind (PS I'll keep your offer in mind should I ever need you to come up and give him a telling off, but to be honest - he is generally really good)
    I hope your having a grand time in England. I've just travelled back from Essex early this afternoon and can report that the weather down there is very kind, unlike the 70mph winds that welcomed us back to Scotland.

    I look forward to checking out your submission on NCR - your right to point out that Pasta and asparagus seems to be 'en vogue' these days, but it is the asparagus season :)

  22. I still cannot decide whether I prefer white or green asparagus. In Italy there are both, the white one being slightly posher and more expensive. In the UK it was all about the green ones and the white ones just did not exist, while here in Germany the white thick ones rule and the green ones are even more expensive! And of course right now I am craving the green ones, which go better with pasta in my opinion.
    I love the radish cut - I'll copy it for the next lunch box for my love, if I may :)

  23. Thank you for your comment la caffettiera rosa.
    Your completely right in your observations.

    If i was pushed I'd say I prefer white asparagus, though they are not easy to come by here as deemed posher and therefore only seen at fancy restaurants.

    Please do make the radish hearts, I'm pleased to read that you've been inspired to make them.

  24. What a great dish! The radish hearts are a nice touch.


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