Asparagus and Radish Salad

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A humble little side dish, celebrating quintessential early summer favorites, easy preparation and some creative add-ins alike. This is warm season cooking at its best! Provided you make sure you lay your hands on locally grown, high quality produce (i.e. don’t go for asparagus spears from Peru unless you live in – that’s right – Peru), you’re definitely in for a treat. And why not make a bigger batch and serve this at one of those summer get togethers? Here in Sweden, we’re very likely to make this as part of our midsummer spread. These precious early summer vegetables (called primörer in Swedish) really do shine the most when prepared simply and without much fuss. But especially when you invite people over, it can be fun to serve something that looks a little more thought-through. This recipe balances that line quite nicely – the vegetables are in fact allowed to shine, but the add-ins make it a touch more interesting. All together, it makes for a pretty dish we could easily munch on every day right now. Hope you’ll like it too!

Serves 4 as a first course or appetizer

500 g asparagus (~2 bunches)
160 g radishes (~1 bunch or approximately 20 radishes), thinly sliced
2 tbsp butter
Zest of 1 lemon
4 tbsp lemon juice
16 g fresh mint (~10 sprigs), roughly chopped
4 tsp sesame seeds (~16 g), lightly toasted
Salt and black pepper

  1. Wash the asparagus (especially the tips) and trim off the woody ends. Cut into pieces, approximately 4 cm in length.
  2. Sauté the asparagus in 2 tbsp butter for about 5 minutes over medium heat. You want the asparagus to remain crispy so make sure not to overcook them. If using thinner asparagus, it may only take 2-3 minutes.
  3. Put the asparagus into a serving bowl and mix in the radishes, lemon zest, lemon juice and mint. Add salt (approx. 1/4 to 1/2 tsp) and black pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve immediately.

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