Lemon Garlic Asparagus

Asparagus Salad with a Preserved lemon Garlic Salad dressing mjskitchen.com @MJsKitchen


Asparagus – what a glorious vegetable!!  Of all the spring vegetables, I have to say it’s my favorite.  Last year, I shared Simply Asparagus,  which is just that – steamed asparagus tossed with a touch of fat and seasoned with salt, pepper and an herb.  This year, I’m sharing my Lemon Garlic Asparagus which makes a delicious cold salad, hot side, or party platter.  As with many asparagus recipes, you can whip this one up in less than 20 minutes.

Lemon Garlic Asparagus is simply steamed asparagus tossed with a simple dressing of preserved lemon juice, garlic-infused olive oil and an herb, my favorite being tarragon.  Thinly sliced radishes are added for texture, color and, for those of us who actually like radishes, their spicy bite.  If you don’t have any preserved lemons or garlic-infused oil, be sure to check out the Kitchen Notes for substitutions.


Asparagus Salad with a Preserved lemon Garlic Salad dressing mjskitchen.com @MJsKitchen


Lemon Garlic Asparagus Recipe

Serves 4
Prep and Cook Time:  less than 20 minutes

Recipe Author:  MJ of MJ’s Kitchen


1 – 2 pounds asparagus, cut ends trimmed*
3 -4 radishes, sliced thin
cracked fresh pepper
sea salt (optional)

Dressing Ingredients

1 Tbsp. preserved lemon juice*
1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard or spicy mustard
1 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. garlic-infused olive oil*
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. crushed dried tarragon, oregano, savory, OR thyme


  1. In a skillet wide enough for the asparagus to be spread out in 1 to 2 layers, add about ¼” water.  Add a dash of salt and bring water to a boil over medium heat.*
  2. Once the water reaches a boil, add the asparagus and cover.  Lower heat to medium low.  Let steam for 2 to 3 minutes or until the asparagus is firm but a touch tender.  If 2 layers, about halfway through the steaming, move the asparagus on the bottom to the top.
  3. Drain the asparagus and rinse immediately to stop the cooking process.  Set aside to cool.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the preserved lemon juice, mustard and water.  Add the oils and herb, and whisk to an emulsion.
  5. Pour about half of the dressing over the asparagus and toss.
  6. Pour a little of the remaining dressing over the radish slices and toss.
  7. Taste the asparagus and add more dressing or sea salt if desired. (I usually have a little dressing left over.)
  8. Arrange on a plate with radish slices.  Top with fresh cracked pepper.
  9. Chill and serve as a cold salad or appetizer, or serve immediately as a hot side dish.




Asparagus Salad with a Preserved lemon Garlic Salad dressing mjskitchen.com @MJsKitchen


Kitchen Notes

Preserved Lemon Juice – Some recipes have you rinse the preserved lemon juice off the preserved lemons; however, I love the juice.  It makes a great “vinegar” for salad dressing and sometimes I’ll scoop a teaspoon or two into sparkling water.  Like preserved lemons, the juice is quite salty, so no additional salt is needed for this recipe.  However, always taste first because some preserved lemons are saltier than others and you may need to add a light sprinkle of sea salt at the end.

If you don’t have preserved lemons there are two options.  The first option requires thinking a day ahead and making Quick Preserved Lemons.  For the second option, dissolve 1/8 teaspoon sea salt in 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, then whisk with the other ingredients.

Garlic-Infused Olive Oil – If you don’t have any garlic-infused oil, again, there are some options.  One option is to make some by following the recipe for Stovetop Roasted Garlic and Infused Oil. Another option is to increase the olive oil to 2 tablespoons and add 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 smashed, minced roasted garlic clove.  You could use raw garlic but if you do, use 1 small clove and be sure to mince it well to prevent that overpowering raw garlic flavor.

Steaming the asparagus – I don’t have an asparagus steamer or a vegetable steamer of any kind, so the method described in the recipe is the closest I can get to steaming asparagus.  If you have a steamer, then use it.  Just be careful not to over steam the asparagus.  For this dish, the asparagus is best if still “a touch” crispy.

The ingredients for the dressing actually make enough dressing for 2 pounds of asparagus; therefore, if you need a large platter of vegetables for a dinner party or potluck, this recipe is a jewel!

If you like this asparagus recipe then you might also enjoy these other recipes:


This Lemon Garlic Asparagus has been linked up to Foodie Friday  .

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68 Responses to “Lemon Garlic Asparagus”

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  2. ChgoJohn April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

    I never would have thought of using the juice from preserved lemons, MJ, thinking it was far too salty. Ridiculous, now that I think of it, because I’ve never tasted it. I have to give it a taste and find out. I love asparagus and lemon. Plated with the shaved radishes, like you have, makes for a great-looking presentation. Perfect for Spring.

  3. Ramona April 15, 2014 at 5:15 am #

    I love asparagus… let me count the ways. This way for sure!! 🙂 Gorgeous photos. 🙂

  4. Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen April 14, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    This is such a gorgeous veggie side for Spring!

    • mj April 14, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

      Thanks Valerie!

  5. April @ The 21st Century Housewife April 10, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    Oh how I love asparagus! I’ve never served it like this though – and I can’t wait to try it. Your lemon garlic vinaigrette sounds so delicious.

  6. Liz April 7, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    What a gorgeous and tasty way to serve asparagus. I’m waiting to find some nice spears at the market to give your recipe a try. I have plenty of preserved lemon juice in my fridge!

    • mj April 8, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

      Thanks Liz! Always love hearing that people have preserved lemons in their fridge. You obviously know how wonderful they are!

  7. Abbe @ Abbe's Cooking Antics April 7, 2014 at 3:41 am #

    I do “heart” asparagus muchly (even though they really, REALLY make my pee smell funky!!!). This is looks like a lovely way to give them a lift. MJ – I have asparagus ( a bucket load) so can try this almost immediately 😉 xx

    • mj April 7, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

      Thanks Abbe! Oh, so you have the asparagus pee gene. 🙂 My friend was talking about it once and I told I didn’t know what she was talking about. Later I read that they have actually found a gene that causes it and not everyone has that gene. And I guess I’m one of those that doesn’t have it. Yay me! 🙂

  8. Diane Balch April 5, 2014 at 7:03 am #

    Yes Asparagus and strawberries are my favorite part of Spring. Wonderful flavors thanks for sharing this recipe with us.

    • mj April 6, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      Thank you Diane! You’re right – it’s hard to beat spring strawberries!

  9. Sissi April 4, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    Asparagus is also my favourite spring vegetable and one of the favourite in general. Your dish seems simple at first, but then, reading the recipe I can imagine how complex and elegant the flavours must be. Wonderful idea to add to my asparagus dishes list!

  10. Carol at Wild Goose Tea April 3, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    I am with everyone else—–It asparagus time!!!!! I have been buying it like crazy too and just steaming it. Buy hey hey now I can add a little zip with ease. Thank you for reminding me I can eat it cold. I do put bits in salad, but I forget about eating the whole spear cold. Just too many things to remember with being older and continually stuffing more and more into my mental data bases. Ha!

  11. cquek April 3, 2014 at 6:02 am #

    I need to try them. I NEED to try them!!

  12. Zoe April 2, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

    Hi MJ,

    Love the pretty colours of this dish. It is screaming loudly the word, Spring to me!


    • mj April 2, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

      Thanks Zoe! Asparagus does scream SPRING doesn’t it? 🙂

  13. Bill April 2, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

    I with you on asparagus, MJ. I’m not sure there’s a more perfect vegetable. I just had some for dinner tonight. I’ve always thought asparagus and lemon are a marriage made in heaven! I love the idea of preserved lemon and garlic infused olive oil. I’ve so got to try this recipe!

    • mj April 2, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

      Thanks so much Bill! I bought 3 pounds the other day so we’ve been eating asparagus pretty much every night this week. 🙂 Love it!

  14. Asmita April 2, 2014 at 6:33 am #

    Love the combination of asparagus and lemon. Looks incredibly fresh!

  15. Cj April 1, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

    Just had purple asparagus, last night … This would be a great way to have it … great job 🙂

    • mj April 2, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

      I’m so jealous. I never see purple asparagus here. I would love to try it with this dressing. Thanks for stopping by CJ!

  16. Terra April 1, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    Hmmmm…..Yum! Hubby and I could eat asparagus all year long, we love love it! We mostly grill with it, but I may need to try new ways to cook with it this year! Your recipe looks refreshing, and perfect way to use the lemon preserves! Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

    • mj April 1, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

      We right there with you on eating asparagus year round! Just wish I could find it year round. Thanks for stopping by and leaving so great comments as always Terra!

  17. Christy April 1, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    I’m with you on that; glorious vegetable it is, the dear asparagus (in a sing song tune now!)~ I am a big fan of this vegetable myself, and I love it served simple; steamed or just on its own. Over here, some of the popular styles would be serving it with shrimps and spicy chili paste which they stir fry together, and it is quite a popular dish with the locals who just enjoyed the combination. I’m not sure if you have tasted it before? 😉
    Your recipe is just as lovely, I can already get a whiff of the zesty lemon scent from here, LOL! 😀

    • mj April 1, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

      Thanks so much Christy!! Love the combination of asparagus with shrimps and spicy chili paste! Will definitely have to give that a try!

  18. Evelyne@cheapethniceatz April 1, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    Its true asparagus season is upon us, just love them as well. I usually blanch and fry a bit in the pan. I always go for lemon juice too but love the idea of using garlic-infused olive oil. Great presentation.

    • mj April 1, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

      Thanks Evelyne! Asparagus and lemon as great together

  19. Minnie@thelady8home April 1, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    Asparagus is glorious, isn’t it!!! garlic, lemon and herbs….you can’t go wrong.

  20. Lisa April 1, 2014 at 5:02 am #

    I have been buying lots of aparagus as it’s popping up in the shops everywhere right now. We’ve got mainly the white kind at the moment. I love preserved lemons! Thanks for giving me a new way to dress the asparagus rather than the tired old parmeasan cheese and olive oil combo I’m always doing!

    • mj April 1, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

      Thanks Lisa! Oh how I wish we could get white asparagus. The few times I see it, the cost is pretty outrageous so I invariably pick the green asparagus. It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut with recipes so I’m glad that I could help give you a new idea for asparagus.

  21. GourmetGetaways April 1, 2014 at 3:13 am #

    What a simple and delicious recipe, thanks for sharing.

  22. Katerina April 1, 2014 at 1:44 am #

    Beauty can be found in simple things just like these asparagus!

    • mj April 1, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

      Thanks so much Katerina!

  23. Nami | Just One Cookbook March 31, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

    I love this asparagus recipe, MJ! Light, citrus-y, and it sounds like it’s best way to cook seasonal asparagus when you don’t want to overwhelm with other seasonings. Simple seasoning is the way to go when you have fresh flavorful asparagus… Really my kind of cooking!

    • mj March 31, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

      Thanks Nami! I totally agree – good quality fresh vegetables don’t need much.

  24. Soni March 31, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    I love Asparagus too and this seems perfect for Spring. Preserved lemons are a great idea and the dressing as sounds fantastic!

    • mj March 31, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

      Thanks Soni! Because I always have preserved lemons, I’m constantly looking for ways to use. 🙂

  25. Gloria March 31, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    Loved the garlicky flavor.. Asparagus must be tasting yummy with lemon and garlic.. Loved the vibrant color..

    • mj March 31, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

      Thanks so much Gloria!

  26. Swathi March 31, 2014 at 9:57 am #

    Mj I need to try this Asparagus for myself. Hubby doesn’t like it, I tried to make it as curry it doesn’t worked as I wish. Thanks for sharing this.

    • mj March 31, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

      Thanks Swathi! It’s hard when the husband and you have different tastes. That happen at times in this house. For example, Bobby doesn’t like radish and I love them; however, if sliced really thin and seasoned well, he’ll eat them – like in this salad. 🙂

  27. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles March 31, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    What a delicate and exquisite representation of spring MJ. I am in love with your photo and will pin this delight shortly. What’s not to love about this recipe… (lemon, Dijon, tarragon = that’s celestial territory :).

    • mj March 31, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

      thanks so much Kelly! Thanks for pinning it! Really – is there a better combination for vegetable seasonings? 🙂

  28. Zsuzsa March 31, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Very nice Peach Lady! I started buying them – asparagus – they are a little more affordable. In December they were pricey here. Love asparagus, very nicely done.

    • mj March 31, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

      Thanks Cake Lady! I can’t even find asparagus in December, but if I did, I probably wouldn’t buy it either because it would be way too expensive.

  29. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen March 31, 2014 at 6:22 am #

    This is such a healthy recipe! I must do recipes like this more often.

    • mj March 31, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

      Thanks Peachy! I love spring because it’s the beginning of three seasons of fresh, local fruits and vegetables. Asparagus is just the beginning.

  30. Giulietta | Alterkitchen March 31, 2014 at 1:45 am #

    I love asparagus!! I can only imagine the garlic and lemon taste.. what a flavor!

    • mj March 31, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

      Thanks Giulia! This is definitely a recipe for all asparagus lovers! 🙂

  31. Deena Kakaya March 31, 2014 at 1:06 am #

    Asparagus is such a delicate flavour, lovely to see it with mild and fresh flavours x

  32. Choc Chip Uru March 31, 2014 at 12:50 am #

    Such a delicious asparagus idea, I love lemon and garlic combination 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

    • mj March 31, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

      Thanks Uru! Glad to know another garlic and lemon lover. 🙂

  33. Nancy/SpicieFoodie March 30, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

    I get so excited for asparagus season every year — it’s one of my most favourite vegetables. Love this recipe MJ. I need to preserve some lemons this year.

    • mj March 31, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

      Thanks Nancy! Preserved lemons are something that I have year round. When one batch runs low, I start another one. 🙂

  34. Angie@Angie's Recipes March 30, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

    This is such a perfect side dish for the spring. The preserved lemon dressing sounds amazing, MJ.

    • mj March 30, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

      Thanks Angie! The dressing is pretty amazing if I do say so myself. 🙂

  35. J+C@WineDineDaily March 30, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

    Steamed asparagus does sound just right for spring! These look vibrant and lovely. Cheers! J+C

    • mj March 30, 2014 at 10:29 pm #

      Thank so much J+C! Asparagus is one of my favorite things about spring. 🙂

  36. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef March 30, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

    Whoa, when I read the juice thing. The inside of my cheeks winced at the thought of that much salt. 🙂

    This asparagus looks wonderful. I wish it was asparagus season here again right now.

    • mj March 30, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

      Thanks Maureen! Actually, when I first made this I put too little dressing on the asparagus, but then realized that the dressing wasn’t that salty. But then I make my own preserved lemons so they may not be as salty as the ones you can buy.

  37. John@Kitchen Riffs March 30, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    Lately I’ve been “steaming” asparagus in the microwave. It works perfectly! And is so easy. I haven’t yet perfected my timing, but it’s usually 3 minutes or so for my microwave. Anyway, such a nice recipe! We’ve been enjoying a ton of asparagus lately. I need to try this — lovely flavors. Thanks.

    • mj March 30, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

      Thanks John! Steaming in the microwave? I need to give that try. Even on the stovetop asparagus is tricky to get it to the perfect texture. I lean more toward undercooked because I’m not a fan when it’s overcooked.

  38. Debra March 30, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    The robins are back and this is the second asparagus recipe I’ve seen today. Must be spring.

    • mj March 30, 2014 at 10:23 pm #

      Definitely is spring Debra! I’ve seen a lot of asparagus recipes as well which is a good thing since I just bought 2 pounds. 🙂


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