Fresh, easy salads are the perfect accompaniment to the summer grilling season. This Asparagus and Tomato Salad recipe includes Fresh Mozzarella and a Zesty Basil Gremolata. It pairs well with steaks, burgers, chicken, and fish. And it takes just a few minutes to make this delicious salad. Fresh asparagus and vine-ripened tomatoes are readily available right now, so there’s no excuse not to make this bright, refreshing recipe.
Asparagus and Tomato Salad with Fresh Mozzarella and Datil Zest Gremolata Dressing
Gremolata. What is gremolata?
This zesty gremolata brings new life to asparagus and tomatoes. You may be asking, “What is gremolata?” Well, according to Mirriam-Webster, gremolata, pronounced grem·o·la·ta | gremōˈlätə, is defined as “a seasoning mixture consisting usually of grated lemon zest, minced garlic, and minced parsley that is used especially with osso buco.” I’m not a big veal fan and there’s definitely no osso buco in this vegetarian recipe, but who knows, maybe sometime in the future, I’ll do an OSA Gourmet Osso Bucco.
Italian inspired salads like this asparagus and tomato salad recipe cry out for gremolata. Gremolata can be added to soups and stews, used as a condiment with fish and chicken, as a sauce for pasta, tossed into potato salad, and compliments almost any veggie.
Traditional gremolatas are made with parsley, and that would be wonderful here, however, I used fresh basil instead to give this salad an Italian Caprese feel. I grow my own herbs, but most grocery stores have fresh basil available year-round. Make sure you use fresh basil leaves and not the dried herbs. There is definitely a place for dried basil, just not in this dressing.
OSA Gourmet Datil Zest
OSA Gourmet Datil Zest
Of course, I have to include one of my Award-WInning Datil Pepper Seasoning Blends. OSA Gourmet’s Datil Zest brings out the freshness of the asparagus and tomatoes and perks up the gremolata.
Datil Zest is a distinctive combination of herbs and spices, including Fresh From Florida orange, lemon, and lime, along with St. Augustine’s own distinctive datil pepper. Add a bright, zesty flavor to salads, vegetables, chicken, and fish with Datil Zest.
OSA Gourmet Datil Zest is a 1st Place winner at the Scovie Awards as well as the International Flavor Awards! I use it every day as my go-to seasoning blend. The unique combination of onion, garlic, lemon, lime, orange, smoked paprika, salt, and datil pepper brightens up almost any savory dish. It’s especially good on chicken, fish, and vegetables.
Asparagus, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Basil Gremolata
Asparagus, Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Datil Zest Gremolata
Angela Bean - The Datil Pepper Lady
A fresh take on asparagus salad. Fresh asparagus, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and a zesty gremolata made with OSA Gourmet Datil Zest. A summer salad that goes with everything.
Vegetable steamer, pot of boiling water or a grill pan
small bowl and spoon
1poundfresh asparagusends trimmed
1 pintcherry tomatoescut in half
8ozFresh MozzarellaCut into small cubes
4TablespoonsFresh Basil LeavesChopped
1teaspoonOSA Gourmet Datil Zest Seasoning
1TablespoonVinegarBalsamic, White Wine, or Apple Cider
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive OilOPTIONAL
Trim asparagus spears, removing the woody ends.
Fill the bottom of a microwave steamer with water. Place asparagus on steamer basket over the water and cover with the lid. Microwave for 4-6 minutes depending on the size of the asparagus stalks. (You want the thickest part of the stem to be easily pierced by a knife,) A stovetop steamer can be used if that is what you have on hand.
Alternatively, you can cook the asparagus by heating a large pot of water to boiling. Gently add asparagus spears to the boiling water and cook for 4-6 minutes or until asparagus is tender but not limp. Once cooked, remove asparagus to a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. (Asparagus can also be placed on a heated grill pan for approximately 4-6 minutes.)
While asparagus is cooking, cut grape tomatoes in half.
Cut mozzarella into bite sized pieces.
Chop the fresh basil leaves.
Zest the lemon using only the yellow outer skin and not the white pith.
Mince the garlic.
In a small bowl, combine the chopped basil, OSA Gourmet Datil Zest, garlic, vinegar and lemon zest. (Add in 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil if desired to make a more traditional salad dressing.) Stir to incorporate all ingredients.
Plate asparagus. Top with tomatoes and mozzarella. Drizzle with the Datil Zest gremolata dressing and serve immediately.
This salad can also be made ahead by gently mixing all ingredients in a large bowl, tossing gently and keeping covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. (You may want to cut the asparagus into thirds if you make it ahead in order to make it easier to eat and not destroy the integrity of the asparagus.)