Let’s Get Cooking: Asparagus – Pistachio-Crusted with Feta Vinaigrette (vegan option)

Pistachio-Crusted Asparagus with Feta Vinaigrette

Recipe from Handmade Gatherings: Recipes & Crafts for Seasonal Celebrations & Potluck Parties (Roost Books).


Chef Ashley

Every spring, Ashley English, author and homesteader, uses asparagus fresh from her garden in Chandler, North Carolina.  She says, “When I notice that those first, tender, thin green spears have poked their sleepy heads from the soil, that’s my cue that spring has arrived.”  Here’s her favorite asparagus recipe.

Yield: 4-6 servings

2 pounds large asparagus

¼ cup olive oil

1 cup shelled pistachios

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons feta, crumbled (Look below for a vegan “feta” that is tasty – and 100% dairy free)

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped



¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup feta, crumbled

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

Several grinds of black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse the asparagus, and cut about an inch off the stem ends. Pat to dry. Place the asparagus on a dry baking sheet, and cook it for three minutes to dry off any excess moisture. Remove the sheet from the oven and toss the asparagus on the sheet with the olive oil.

Crush the pistachios in a food processor (or under a towel with a kitchen mallet or hammer) for about 1 minute, until finely ground. Transfer the ground nuts to a small mixing bowl. Using a spoon or clean hands, mix the nuts with the salt. Lay the asparagus out evenly across the baking sheet. Sprinkle them with half of the ground pistachio and salt blend. Turn the spears over, then evenly sprinkle them with rest of the ground pistachios.

Cook 10 minutes, then remove from the oven, and carefully plate the spears onto a platter using tongs. Add all of the vinaigrette ingredients to a lidded container or a food processor. Shake or blend until smooth. Drizzle the plated asparagus with the vinaigrette. Top with the chopped parsley and feta. Serve at room temperature.

Seen in Spring 2017 edible ASHEVILLE, p. 42.

** For vegan feta, see this recipe from Nikki at EatingVibrantly.com for instant raw vegan feta: https://www.eatingvibrantly.com/instant-raw-vegan-feta-cheese/

Enjoy.  Happy Spring, Renée


About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

5 responses to “Let’s Get Cooking: Asparagus – Pistachio-Crusted with Feta Vinaigrette (vegan option)”

  1. thebalancebrigade says :

    beautiful – will be giving this a whirl!

  2. Rosita says :

    kool recipe 👍🏼 I was missing yuh posts ^^ I’m sending here some typical Brazilian foods: https://www.google.com.br/amp/s/www.buzzfeed.com/amphtml/gabrielakruschewsky/traditional-brazilian-foods-you-need-to-eat-right-now
    Hope u enjoy it!

    With love,

    • reneeriley says :

      Hi Rosita: We’ve been on the road and on the move for two months. I plan to share some of our experiences soon now that we are home. Thank you for the Brazilian food lists. Acai is very popular here on Maui right now, and I’ve had the Romeu e Julieta (although I didn’t know it was called that). You asked where we were coming to Brazil. I don’t know, but it is definitely on our list of places we would like to go, and this list of Brazilian food choices encourages me to come soon. 🙂 Hope all is well with you and your family. Mahalo, R

      • Rosita says :

        Thxs 4 yuh reply, my darling ^^ I’m glad some of our national dishes are appreciated there in USA 🤗 but I particularly don’t like Açaí nor Romeu e Julieta. I think they’re so sweetie even 4 my taste! I do prefer fruity dishes and coxinhas, apart from grilled stuff 😋 but I guess Brasil has food 4 all tastes, and I’m pretty sure y’all would luv our national foods. or some of them, at least. I’m happy y’all wanna come here, but I guess it’s my duty 2 inform u dat Brasil is facing a highly politically unstable moment and safety is a concerning issue while here, but, all in all, it’s a very good and gorgeous country, just don’t forget taking basic safety measures y’all would take everywhere, even there in USA. I’m a bit different of some Brazilians, ’cause I’m very patriotic, and I must confess that there are just 2 anthems which make meh cry: our national Brazilian one and Nicaragua’s anthem, 4 some reason IDK, since I’ve never been in Nicaragua nor really thought of. I luv Brasil and I’m proud of being Brazilian, even tho I’m ashamed of corruption, but I still feel proud ’cause I know my country is much more than just corruption and political instability and violence. It has a beautiful, unique nature and a vibrant culture. Just coming here 2 know wha’ I’m talking about 😀🇧🇷 And how r y’all doing? Wha’ are yuh expectations 4 USA now, with Trump in charge? I just hope it won’t be dat bad as I’ve been thinking..
        Espero que estejam bem,

  3. Rosita says :

    PS: they forgot putting cocadas, my fav national dessert, although it can also be found in other countries. I simply love cocadas!!! I’m sending u now some cocada recipe I found on internet: http://www.maria-brazil.org/cocada.htm
    Hope u likes it! Which typical Brazilian food is yuh fav one?

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