asparagus basil salad

Asparagus Basil Salad

 This super healthy Asparagus Basil Salad is a not just nutritious, it’s a treat for the palate.  Trust me, it’s delectable, especially right now using wonderfully ripe vegetables at peak season. I found this recipe in Sunset Magazine.  Actually, I didn’t find it, our family friend Mrs. Rose found it and made it for Mr. Rose’s 75th birthday, a fabulous little gathering that the boys and I attended when we were in Davis, California visiting my folks a couple of weeks ago.

For those of you that commented on my last post, The Gluten Free Diet, about family and friends that don’t understand, accommodate or respect your dietary restrictions (or eating plan, as I prefer to say) Mrs. Rose made tons of gluten free food for us!  And so, a yummy dinner was enjoyed by all.

However, IMHO, it really is up to us to maintain our boundaries and not eat food that makes us feel awful, just to spare someone else’s feelings.  I would rather hurt their feelings than hurt my body; has anybody else been in a situation like that?

In any event, here’s a yummy salad that pretty much anyone can enjoy.  If you don’t do nightshades, it’s still delicious without the tomatoes!

Print Recipe
Asparagus Basil Salad
  1. Steam asparagus for 5-7 minutes until fork tender
  2. Place asparagus, tomatoes, avocado and basil in a large bowl
  3. Stir in olive oil, lemon juice and mustard
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  5. Serve

I actually made a huge batch of this last weekend and ate it for breakfast and then had the rest for dinner with Turkey Burgers from my book, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook.

I am LOVING Mark Sisson’s book The Primal Blueprint, the guy is a genius.  And I am waiting for his next book to come out, which is the called, The Primal Blueprint Cookbook. If you haven’t had a chance to look at Mark’s site,, head on over there and check it out.  It is primal galore.


  1. Meg says

    Thank you so much. This dish is as tasty as it is visually appealing. I have recently been introduced to this type of eating. I have been pleasantly surprised. I am thoroughly enjoying the experience thanks in part to your delightful recipes.

  2. Samantha says

    I can’t have nightshades, so I added some chopped up roasted beets for something extra. This salad was delicious. Thank you so much Elana!

  3. Laura says

    I threw in some shredded organic chicken breasts and this was so delicious!!!! I had some lemon basil in my garden that added the perfect touch.

  4. Sarah says

    Really simple/creative recipe! I am making a large batch for an Easter gathering tonight. Didn’t have a ripe avocado so I’m subbing 1 cup edamame and 1 cup whole kernel corn. Figured that would work well. I’m curious to see my family’s reactions (some aren’t so veggie-enlightened). BTW – everyone know about Sierra Nevada mustards? Produced by the brewery? Oh they are amazing!

  5. Katie says

    I am hosting Easter dinner this week and thinking about making this salad. Does it keep well if I make it a day ahead, perhaps waiting to add the dressing until it’s time to serve? Or will it get mushy? A cup of basil is a lot – is that a packed cup?


    • elana says

      Hi Katie,

      Thanks for your comment. I like to make all of my salads fresh so not sure if this one would keep or not.

      Yes, I do a packed cup of basil for this recipe –I LOVE basil.

      Elana :-)

  6. says

    I am Gluten-Free and use your fantastic website often. I particularly like the ingredients section where I constantly learn. I have a question regarding Grape-Seed oil. I know it is supposed to be the best oil for everything…frying but I have now used it for the second time (frying Latkes in Hannuka and then frying a simple omlette) and it burns so quickly that I have to clean out the pan in the middle of the process. I am an experienced cook and this has never happened to me with any other cooking oil – what am I doing wrong?

    • says


      Hmmm, I doubt you’re doing anything wrong.

      Grapeseed oil has a fairly high smoking/burning point of 420 degrees, which is a good thing when frying. I think it may be that in cooking repeated batches of latkes in oil, the oil just eventually starts to burn and needs to be dumped and replenished.

      Have you had better success with other types of oils? If so, please let us know :-)


  7. says

    This looks great. I think I will make it tonight and add some chicken thighs, and pine nuts for a full meal. I have been looking to do more meals out of one dish lately and have had pretty good success. Thanks.

  8. says

    Hi Elena, I have been loving/raving about your blog for months. I got your book for my birthday and am seriously obsessed with all your recipes. I recently made this salad for my blog and linked to yours. It’s the perfect combination of some of my absolute favorite things. I was reading about how you attended a photo workshop and had to say, I love the new photo of you on your blog! Too cute! You are lovely.
    Best from the bowl, L

  9. Babette says

    Made this for a potluck last weekend. It was a big hit! It’s wonderful to share delicious recipes with others who don’t have dietary restrictions–they don’t miss anything!

  10. kelsey says

    I have Chronic Kidney Disease due to an immune system defect…I am usually in a situation where I am bound to hurt someone’s feelings or insult their beliefs for not eating all my food. The good news is that once I explain that it is due to dietary restrictions and a failing organ…people tend to be pretty sheepish. I think there needs to be more understanding from chefs and a realization from hosts that their food may or may not be the best thing we ever ate and appreciating someone’s generosity does not mean I need to ask for seconds or even necessarily like their food…the goal of social or business events should not be the food, but the people.

    Also, I make a similar salad during the summer with red bell pepper and lime juice instead of lemon juice. Instead of steaming the asparagus, I grill the asparagus and red pepper, makes it feel more like summer.

  11. says

    This looks awesome! When I was on a Candida diet, I told people what my eating restrictions were, and I also brought my own food when I knew I would be out at meal times. I did get some funny reactions when I turned down free pizza while taking a group of my students to work at a local soup kitchen.

  12. colormepink says

    I have been pretty lucky overall, I socialize in a pretty small group so most people know what to expect with me and are usually relieved when I tell them I will bring my own food or supplement what they provide. What I found early on in this transition was that for some reason if I tried to explain I was eating differently for my health, I got a lot of, “just one piece/ bite won’t hurt you” but when I started telling people I had food allergies or intolerances and I could get sick from eating (fill in the blank) they were a lot more understanding. And there are SO MANY people who know so little about nutrition or food. I had a really hard time getting someone to understand that whole wheat flour was still flour, she was confused and deflated when I couldn’t eat the whole wheat muffins she made. With people who are new to my needs, I try to keep it simple- “I have multiple food intolerances and many things make me sick, I’d like to bring something”. Then if they ask for more information, I’m happy to elaborate. The one issue that still plagues me is beer and alcohol, I can’t get it through the heads of many, including my husband, that beer contains gluten and that 1 drink of pretty much anything means 48 hours of recuperation, so I usually just volunteer to be a designated driver to get out of that one. And I have found that more and more people know someone already with some allergy or intolerance and with so much gluten-free buzz, it at least seems like more people are becoming educated about the issue (even if marginally). But it’s hard to hurt the feelings of someone you care about who probably means well but just has no clue. Hopefully with time and tact, they will begin to at least accept. I hope everyone can find and maintain their path.

  13. Tracy says

    Elana, or others, do you wait to put the dressing on if you are eating it at two different occassions during the day, for instance breakfast and dinner??? Thanks, Tracy

  14. says

    Oh gosh, I had that with my mother-in-law not that long ago. The family was going to her place for lunch, so I kindly asked if she could tell me what she was preparing so that I could make my own safe version. Three days of emails and phoning later, we finally convinced her to just let me bring my own food. THREE DAYS! It was really tiring going back and forth. With her saying things like, “Just tell me how. Tell me what margarine I can use.” and me responding with, “It’s a lot more complicated than that. Especially when you’re cooking food for other people right next to mine. And no, I can’t use ANY margarine.”

    “What about oils?”

    “No, please… I’ll feel a lot better if I just make my own.”

    “It’s no trouble for me.”

    “NO!!! I’m really not concerned about you going to extra trouble. I’m doing this for my own PEACE OF MIND!”

    … and as much as I eventually won, I can see that argument happening the very next time we’re invited over there again.

  15. Ann Harris says

    As a diabetic for more than 25 years, yes, I’ve confronted the issue of hurting feelings or hurting me countless times. It took a few years to choose me. Admittedly it is more accepted for a diabetic to “watch” their diet* I have a couple of food allergies so I’ve had occasion to notice people seem to be somewhat less forgiving of the fact that I can’t eat tomatoes, unless they themselves have one or more food allergies. Happily, the trend seems to be toward asking those invited to a food event what their dietary preferences are during the menu planning process. The last big potluck I was only too delighted to attend had labels on each dish, some listing all the ingredients, others saying “vegan” or “contains meat” or something of the kind. At least you could get a clue before eating.

    BTW, the salad looks fabulous, perhaps pickled baby beets in place of those yummy looking tomatoes?

    *The term “watch your diet” means watching other people eat what you can’t have.

  16. Kara says

    Amongst friends, family, and strangers, I have no problem being honest with them with regards to my eating plan (love that phrase!). But I generally eat whatever my boss cooks, suffering the consequences later. Fortunately, he only has us over for dinner once or twice a year. ;)

    I hate Hate HATE it when I turn down food (apologetically, of course) and the topic of conversation turns to what food I can and cannot eat and how tough it must be. “You can’t eat BREAD?!?! How do you LIVE?!?”

    UGH. Sorry, mini-rant.

    • Liat says

      LOL. I always get the same reaction. It’s very uncomfortable, especially when there are a lot of people around or when you don’t know the people so well. I basically cannot eat anywhere besides home without compromising my diet (’cause I don’t eat wheat, eggs, dairy, red meat, soy etc etc.) and whenever I stick to my guns my diet becomes the topic of conversation.
      So you’re not alone in this… if it’s of any comfort…

  17. says

    Love, love, love asparagus! Just got my last bunch of the season in my organic delivery box… will have to try this out! Ordered the Primal Blueprint cookbook last week. Can’t wait for it to get here!

    Thanks Elana!

  18. says

    I remember hating asparagus when my mom made it for us–however, those vegetables came from a can. Freshly cooked asparagus is delicious. So, do not use canned asparagus if you want a good dish–at least that is what I have experienced for myself. Plus, BPA isn’t very appetizing.

    Every holiday get-together, my family’s friends come over with their heavily refined, sugary laden, gluten containing desserts and foods. I feel pretty bad for not having any because I know they made it for everyone (actually they usually don’t make it from scratch, like I do for my desserts); but, I put my health first and I always maintain it over anyone else’s thoughts, comments or personal feelings.

    It shouldn’t be like this in everyday life all the time, obviously, because you would have a large array of negative people in the population. But when it comes to your boundaries and the health there of, you gotta respect that.

    Ooh, I just noticed avocado. I love that fruit! So, I know I will love this salad. So nice.

  19. says

    Elana, enjoying your website, book and recipes. If you like Mark Sisson’s book, you will love my book, Dr Gundry’s Diet Evolution: Turn Off the Genes that are Killing You. It goes into the evolutionary reasons why much of what we currently eat, especially grains, are an evolutionally disaster that just plays into an ancient genetic program that makes us seek out these foods.
    All the best,
    Dr. G

  20. Nana4 April says

    Elana, you posted “However, IMHO, it really is up to us to maintain our boundaries and not eat food that makes us feel awful, just to spare someone else’s feelings. I would rather hurt their feelings than hurt my body; has anybody else been in a situation like that?”

    YES! I am now in the faze of telling people NO! I have been using some of your recipes as my GG was GF, so figured I better start getting use to some of it as it might turn out that way for me too. I am a diabetic so have to be careful of what I eat. Anyway… Someone wanted me to taste a pie she made, said “Oh a bite wont really hurt you” My BG shot to 198. She then said “Well that’s not bad so and so was in the 250-300+ all the time.” Well for me 198 was awfully bad. And all I took was 1 little bite. So I have learned to say “Here want some arsenic, just a little bite wont hurt will it?” lol It gets the point across.

  21. Suzanne says

    Hi, I love you site!
    Not only being G-free I have a son that can not have nuts. :-( My question to you would be, if I cannot use almond flour what flour would you suggest in place of for the cherry blueberry crumble or any other recipes using it.

    Thank you for any reply,

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will need to be approved before it will appear on the site. For substitutions, the only way to know is to try!