A simple yet bold presentation, this Greek asparagus is richly flavored with olive and sun-dried tomato tapenade. It’s a perfect side dish for everyday as well as special occasion meals.
Briny Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh dill celebrate this seasonal treat. That’s what gives this dish its touch of Greek flair, dressing the once maligned stalks in a shapely and bold new style.
That all said, age determines texture more than width, so freshness will always be more important than shape or size. At the end of the day, all asparagus is beautiful. Cook thinner asparagus for only 3 to 5 minutes, if that’s all you can find.
Making the case for fat asparagus spears
For years, pencil-thin, spindly stalks of asparagus were the only respectable option for any serious chef, buying into the notion that anything more voluptuous would be tough or “woody.”
Not only is that a fallacy, but a woeful waste of the best produce that spring has to offer. This easy and luscious dish of asparagus with Greek olive tapenade topping makes the case for fat spears.
Thick, juicy spears bear a much fuller flavor in each bite, providing ample surface area to cover in more robust seasonings that would otherwise smoother those twiggy specimens.
Here are lots more delectable vegan asparagus recipes.
Real Food Really Fast is available wherever books are sold
Recipe and photo at top from Real Food Really Fast: Delicious Plant-Based Recipes Ready in 10 Minutes or Less by Hannah Kaminsky © 2018, Skyhorse Publishing. Reprinted by permission.
My Big Fat Greek Asparagus
This easy and luscious dish of asparagus topped with Greek olive tapenade makes the case for thick, juicy spears.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 16 ounces asparagus, woody bottoms trimmed
- 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 3 Tbsps chopped fresh dill
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once the surface begins to shimmer, introduce the asparagus. Sauté for 6 to 7 minutes, until bright green and fork-tender yet still crisp, stirring often.
- Meanwhile, toss all the remaining ingredients into your food processor and pulse to combine. Pause to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary, chopping the mixture into a coarse tapenade, with plenty of chunky bits remaining.
- Transfer the cooked asparagus to a serving platter and top with the olive mixture. Enjoy hot, or prepare in advance and chill for a more refreshing spring side. Once cooled, it also travels well, making it an excellent picnic guest!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 89Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 89mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g
Nutrition data is always an estimate depending on program used to calculate and exact products used.
Passionate about big flavors and simple techniques, she’s the author of Vegan Desserts, Vegan à la Mode, Easy as Vegan Pie, Real Food, Really Fast, Sweet Vegan Treats, The Student Vegan Cookbook, Super Vegan Scoops, and The Everyday Vegan Cheat Sheet Pan. Visit Hannah at BittersweetBlog.com.
If you like this simple asparagus side dish, you might also enjoy …
Lemony Asparagus with Mushrooms
See more easy vegan salads & sides
Nava, my village is famous for its asparagus which is just coming into season. Wish I could share some with you along with the green and black olives we put up every year. Will try this recipe and let you know.
Congrats on new site
HI Tzviah! It sounds like you have the perfect local ingredients for this dish. Would love to share with you!