This Roasted Asparagus recipe with Oranges, Feta & Walnuts is a colorful and delicious way to enjoy every spear you can find.
Asparagus is the star of spring vegetables, a perennial favorite cultivated in gardens and found growing wild throughout the country.
I remember spotting patches of wild asparagus along country roads growing up in Missouri; it was as common as hunting for morel mushrooms.
Fun as foraging can be, these coveted spears of spring are readily available in stores and more budget-friendly than any other time of the year.
White asparagus is considered a delicacy because of its mild flavor and striking color. Grown under cover of soil to prevent the plant from producing chlorophyll like its green variety, it is like starting with a blank canvas.
Its mild flavor may be more appealing to children trying asparagus for the first time. Green, white, steamed, roasted, grilled, drizzled with classic hollandaise or a splash of extra-virgin olive oil, there are many ways to enjoy this versatile veggie.
What a delicious adventure finding your favorite.
How to Store Asparagus
The ideal way to store asparagus is to trim the fibrous ends about 1-inch up from the bottom, stand-up in an inch of water, and keep it in the refrigerator. This will keep the asparagus from drying out.
Any container that will hold the asparagus upright will work; we often use a large coffee cup. This method will keep the asparagus fresh for up to a week, perhaps longer if it was kept this way in the store.
How to Prepare Asparagus for Roasting
The classic preparation for asparagus is to peel the spears just below the heads to make them more tender. Peeling the asparagus is most useful if the spears are large and more fibrous, but unnecessary for thinner, more tender spears.
Choosing thinner spears will eliminate the need to peel them.
The bottoms should be trimmed before cooking if they haven’t been already. Either cut or snap off the bottoms at the natural bend or breaking point of the stalk (where the color changes from white to green), 1-2 inches from the base.
Garnishing Roasted Asparagus
Asparagus can be steamed, boiled, roasted, grilled, sautéed in a stir-fry, or added to soups.
The following recipe is our favorite—roasted asparagus garnished with some combination of the following: feta, blue cheese, Gorgonzola, or Parmesan; mandarin oranges, tangerine or orange segments; crispy walnuts, pecans, or sliced almonds.
Roasting brings out the natural nuttiness of the asparagus. Garnished with tart cheese, sweet mandarins, and crunchy walnuts, this dish is as beautiful as it is delicious.
Roasted Asparagus with Oranges, Feta, & Walnuts
- 16 ounces asparagus — ends trimmed
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 11 ounces mandarin orange segments drained, or freshly peeled and separated into segments
- 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 1/3 cup raw walnuts or Sweetly Spiced Crispy Walnuts or Pecans
- Position top oven rack in the middle of the oven, approximately 12-inches under the broiler and turn the broiler on HI. Prepare asparagus by trimming fibrous ends.
- Arrange asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet so that each spear is touching the pan and separate. Drizzle with olive oil and roll asparagus to coat well. Season with salt and pepper.
- Set asparagus under the broiler for 10 minutes, checking and turning (rolling 1/4 turn) asparagus every few minutes until lightly browned in spots and crisp-tender. Cook slightly longer if a softer texture is preferred.
- Remove from oven and arrange in a single layer on a platter. Sprinkle with feta cheese, mandarin orange segments, and sliced walnuts. Serve immediately.
Asparagus always tastes best in spring even though it’s always available in our stores. We really liked the oranges with it!
Eva Taylor says
What a beautiful dish, the colours are just perfect for spring. Although I personally find the canned mandarines a little to syrupy but any fresh citrus would be perfect. I’m going to book mark this for when asparagus are local, they are very late this year.
Judy Purcell says
Hi Eva, thanks for stopping by and for your thoughtful comment. I agree, canned mandarins can be syrupy, so fresh is best. Additionally, when I look for canned, I am careful to only choose the kind in natural juices rather than in syrup. I do think you will like the sweet/salt combo with the feta, no matter they type of citrus you use–and it is so quick to pull together! 🙂
Amy (Savory Moments) says
What a bright and delightful dish! I can’t wait for asparagus season to begin!!
The green asparagus dish looks so vibrant, it’s spring on a plate. I’m still waiting for the asparagus season to start here, any week now.
What a simple recipe that lets the flavors of the best, fresh ingredients shine through. I love asparagus, blue cheese of any sort, and mandarine oranges too! This one is going in the “save for later” file 🙂
Thanks for linking to the Hearth and Soul Hop!
Krista Jorstad says
This looks beautiful! I just blanched asparagus for a side dish at dinner yesterday, and it felt like such a treat even with the low low prices these days. Great ideas for how to use ’em!
I love asparagus but there are only few recipes that I know of using this wonderful vegetable now I have added and new one. Thanks for sharing.
Love asparagus this time of year. Great recipe!