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Roast asparagus, feta, almonds and sourdough croutons

Asparagus is one of the first signs of spring: as the weather warms slightly the brilliant green spears start to poke through the earth. Typically, the short asparagus season ends around the summer solstice, so the last of the crop heralds the start of summer. For this salad the spears are roasted to enhance their amazing flavour, while retaining a good crunch:


Preheat the oven to 230 C/Fan 210 C/Gas 8. Cut the bread into 1 cm cubes and place in a bowl with 2 tbsp of the olive oil and some salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

Scatter the bread cubes on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5 minutes until golden brown and crunchy. Tip the croutons onto a plate and allow to cool.

Spread the chopped almonds out on the baking tray and toast in the oven for 3 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and cut the spears in half on the diagonal. Place on a baking tray, trickle over the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus in the oven for 4 minutes, then remove and set aside for a few minutes to cool slightly.

Transfer the roasted asparagus to a large bowl and add the almonds, lettuce leaves and croutons. Crumble in the feta cheese, then trickle over the lemon juice. Add a touch more seasoning if you feel it needs it, and serve.

Serving suggestions

Swap: Once the asparagus season is over, grill plump spring onions instead.

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2 slices slightly stale sourdough or good-quality wholemeal bread, crusts removed

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

100g almonds (skin on), roughly chopped

About 500g asparagus (at least 16 spears)

1 Little Gem lettuce, divided into leaves

150g good-quality feta

Juice of 1 lemon

Sea salt and black pepper

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Great Salads

Redefine the idea of salad, as playful flavour pairings, clever techniques and vibrant dressings bring out the very best in seasonal produce. Divided into chapters such as Quick, Hearty, Spicy and Lunchbox, these recipes use everyday ingredients, and give plenty of suggestions for seasonal swaps and delicious alternatives.