Asparagus with Orange and Kalamata

A simple side dish of asparagus with orange and kalamata relish |


Asparagus with orange and kalamata is a light and delightful dish that I love making this time of year when there’s the overlap between good quality citrus and young shoots of fresh asparagus. This dish that can be served as a warm side or cold salad.  For a warm side steamed asparagus is immediately serve with the cold orange kalamata topping.  The contrast of the hot asparagus with the chilled orange is quite enjoyable.  For a cold salad the steamed asparagus and the orange kalamata topping are both chilled at least one hour or over night.  As a cold salad, this makes a mouth calming complement to a spicy entree.

Asparagus with orange and kalamata makes an excellent lunch or dinner salad as well as a dinner side for numerous entrees.

A simple side dish of asparagus with orange and kalamata relish #asapargus #kalamata @mjskitchen |


Asparagus with Orange and Kalamata Olive Recipe

Recipe author:  MJ of MJ’s Kitchen

Serves 2
Prep and Cook time: less than 20 minutes


½ pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt*

Topping – Combine the following 3 ingredients in a bowl and chill

1 large orange*, peeled, wedges cut into small pieces
8 – 10 Kalamata olives, diced
1 Tbsp. minced onion


  1. In a skillet wide enough for the asparagus to be spread out in 1 to 2 layers, add about ¼ inch water.  Add a dash of salt and bring water to a boil over medium heat.*
  2. Once the water reaches a boil, spread the asparagus across the bottom of the skillet, and cover.  Lower heat to medium low. Steam for 3 to 4 minutes or until the asparagus is firm but a touch tender (or to your preference).
  3. Drain the asparagus and rinse immediately with tap water to stop the cooking process.
  4. If serving as a hot side, divide the asparagus between 2 plates, top each serving with half of the orange topping, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. If serving as a cold salad, let the asparagus cool then refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight. When ready to serve, divide the asparagus between 2 plates, top each serving with half of the orange topping, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Serve and enjoy!

*See Kitchen Notes



A simple asparagus with an orange and olive relish |


Kitchen Notes

Steaming the asparagus – I don’t have an asparagus steamer or a vegetable steamer, so the method described in the recipe is the closest I can get to steaming asparagus.  If you have a steamer, then you can use it.  Just be careful not to over steam the asparagus to where it is mushy.  You want a rather firm, but not crispy texture.

The Orange – You know how I love Cara Cara oranges, so that’s what I use; however, just find a really sweet, tasty orange and it will work great. This would be beautiful with blood oranges, wouldn’t it?

Sea Salt – You can use regular sea salt or an infused sea salt.  When I want a little heat, I’ll use a Thai Sriracha Sea Salt.  When I serve this as a hot side dish, a peppered sea salt is nice, like this Sichuan Pepper Sea Salt or regular sea salt with cracked black pepper.


A Parting Shot

The Road to Nowhere

We recently drove back to Texas and Louisiana to visit some of our family.  We usually do this drive at least once a year and sometimes two. For me, it’s a drive I never get tired off. I love driving and love driving where there are big skies and big views, something you get plenty of in New Mexico (NM) and west Texas.  Below are a couple of pictures from one of my favorite New Mexico roads – U.S. Route 60.  It’s only about 60 miles long and is the only road between Vaughn, NM, and Fort Sumner, NM.  It is a road that few travel making it a very peaceful drive.

The road to Yeso, NM between Vaughn and Fort Sumner, NM |

Every once in a while we get lucky and spot antelope and hawks; but most of the drive is spent enjoying the beautiful big skies and views that roll off the horizon leading to nowhere.

The road to Yeso, NM between Vaughn and Fort Sumner, NM |

The only thing on this road besides for some telephone lines now and then and a small fence, is the tiny, mostly abandoned town of Yeso, NM. Even though most of the buildings in Yeso have long been abandoned and are ruins, there is still a working post office that is manned a few hours a week, and a few houses occupied by the handful of residents of Yeso.  Some say that Yeso is a ghost town, and having passed through it at night, I could see that as a possibility.


Hope you enjoyed seeing a little bit of New Mexico as well as the asparagus. If you did like this Asparagus with Orange and Kalamata, you may also enjoy these other asparagus recipes:

Lemon Garlic Asparagus

Asparagus, Chorizo and a Soft-Boiled Egg

Asparagus with Pecans

Simply Asparagus


This Asparagus with orange and kalamata side has been shared with the Hearth & Soul Blog Hop.

Tags: , ,

74 Responses to “Asparagus with Orange and Kalamata”

  1. Roz @ La Bella Vita Cucina April 19, 2015 at 7:16 am #

    I’ve never thought about the overlap in seasons for citrus and asparagus and will now remember that tip! I’m sure this combination is delicious! I enjoyed ‘the drive’ photos and appreciate those wide open landscapes . . . beautiful!

    • mj April 20, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

      Thanks Roz! It’s a very tasty overlap of produce. 🙂 The wide open spaces here are pretty amazing.

  2. Nami | Just One Cookbook April 13, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    Wow, you totally inspired me to try this recipe! I’ve never combined with asparagus (we love!) and oranges (we always have!) and kalamata olives (my son’s fav!). And SO easy, and this combination happens to be in the kitchen at the same time! DEFINITELY trying. I think my family will love this dish!

    • mj April 14, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

      Thanks so much Nami! I hope you and your family do enjoy this recipe! We’ll be eating it until the orange disappear. 🙂

  3. swathi April 13, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

    Delicious salad, MI thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning,tweeting.

    • mj April 14, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

      Thanks so much Swathi for all of the sharing!

  4. April J Harris April 9, 2015 at 3:21 am #

    What a lovely way to serve asparagus – love the contrast of the olives with the oranges! Your photographs of your drive are gorgeous too! Thank you for sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop, MJ. Pinning and will tweet 🙂

    • mj April 9, 2015 at 8:27 pm #

      Thanks so much April!

  5. Vicki Bensinger April 6, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    What an interesting topping for asparagus. It’s one I’d never think of especially with the olives. I’ll have to try this. Thanks for sharing.

    • mj April 7, 2015 at 10:50 am #

      Thanks Vicki!

  6. Debra April 3, 2015 at 7:25 am #

    I love your road pics. This recipe reminds me it is TIME to pick up some spring veggies.

    • mj April 4, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

      Are you growing asparagus? I so envious if you are. 🙂 Thanks!

  7. Joanne T Ferguson April 1, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

    Your recipe looks great MJ and love your photography!
    Thanks for YBR this month too! Pinned

    • mj April 1, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

      Thank you so much Joanne!!

  8. Shobha March 31, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    Salad looks tempting. Loved the pics. Thanks for the New Mexico tour..

    • mj March 31, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

      You are most welcome Shobha and thanks for stopping by!

  9. Abbe @ This is How I Cook March 30, 2015 at 10:12 pm #

    Love the simplicity and beauty of this dish. I too, love road trips because of views like this. It feels so good to experience the vastness of our country. It is so easy to forget it’s out there!

    • mj March 31, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

      Totally agree Abbe! That’s why Bobby and love to take road trips instead of fly. Thanks!

  10. Roz @ La Bella Vita Cucina March 30, 2015 at 6:56 pm #

    What a delicious asparagus recipe for spring MJ! So creative with the sweet and salty addition! Thank you for sharing!
    Happy Spring, MJ!

    • mj March 31, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

      Thanks so much Roz!

  11. Maggie March 26, 2015 at 11:38 pm #

    This is such a gorgeous salad! I started to add fruit into my salad lately and I absolutely love their flavors combined. I never imagine I can add orange to asparagus, but they looks so great. Can’t wait to try out 🙂

    • mj March 27, 2015 at 11:22 am #

      Thanks so much Maggie! Orange and asparagus is a great combination!

  12. Hotly Spiced March 25, 2015 at 9:52 pm #

    I do love asparagus season. What a pretty dish. I love all the colour. That certainly does look like a vast expanse. I can’t wait for asparagus season here xx

    • mj March 27, 2015 at 11:16 am #

      Thanks Charlie!

  13. Anne@FromMySweetHeart March 25, 2015 at 8:47 am #

    Wow..MJ….three very unique flavors that I wouldn’t think to put together…but I bet they are quite harmonious in this salad! And so simple. I can’t wait to try it! And I could drive down route 60 all day long. What a beautiful day you had for your drive….your photos are amazing! : )

    • mj March 27, 2015 at 11:16 am #

      Thanks so much Anne! Simple and easy…just like I like it! 🙂

  14. Eva Taylor March 25, 2015 at 3:33 am #

    This does look like an incredibly refreshing salad, I had not thought about combining asparagus and orange before but it sounds fantastic! Thanks for dropping by my little blog.

    • mj March 27, 2015 at 11:15 am #

      Thank you so much Eva!

  15. Bam's Kitchen March 23, 2015 at 9:05 pm #

    Oh my goodness ML, I have all the ingredients in my pantry right now. I would have never thought to pair these items together but just reading the ingredient list and the contrast, textures and temperature of the dish is stunning. I would love to be able to see blue sky peaking through the clouds. I have not seen the sun in over 6 weeks here in HK for all the reasons you happen to be thinking about right now.. I can’t wait to try this dish, sounds like a perfect lunch idea for me. Sharing everywhere, of course!

    • mj March 27, 2015 at 11:15 am #

      Thanks so much Bam! It is a strange pairing but quite good. I have another asparagus and orange recipe that I’ll share later on. I can’t imagine not seeing the sun for 6 weeks. B and I took a trip to Canada and after not seeing the sun for 2 weeks, we turned around and headed home. 🙂 Love that sun!

  16. Sandra | Sandra's Easy Cooking March 23, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more about driving! Great pics, and delicious recipe of course!

    • mj March 27, 2015 at 11:13 am #

      Thanks Sandra!

  17. Raymund March 23, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

    This is really nice, looks healthy but delicious. Love the citrusy touch to it

    • mj March 27, 2015 at 11:13 am #

      Thanks Raymund!

  18. Shashi at RunninSrilankan March 23, 2015 at 11:43 am #

    It always blows me away how the simplest ingredients can be combined in the most uncomplicated way to produce something fantastic – as evidenced in this! I love asparagus – I eaten it a million times, but never have I had it with oranges and kalamata olives! Thanks so much for sharing MJ

    • mj March 27, 2015 at 11:13 am #

      I agree Shashi! One doesn’t need a lot of ingredients to make something good. 🙂 Thanks for commenting and have a great weekend!

  19. Sissi March 22, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

    The sky looks incredible, indeed. I imagine I would also love travelling through this road… I hope you’ve had wonderful holidays. You are so lucky to have already asparagus! I must remember your salad as soon as I buy a first bunch. It’s so beautiful and I am impatient to taste the combination of oranges, olives and asparagus.

    • mj March 27, 2015 at 11:12 am #

      Thanks so much Sissi! Yes, the sky all over New Mexico is so huge and just gorgeous most of the time. Hope you enjoy the salad!

  20. Dedy@Dentist Chef March 22, 2015 at 10:31 am #

    Can’t possibly more healthy than this salad, damn delicious too!!!

    • mj March 22, 2015 at 10:37 am #

      Thanks Dedy! Yep – very healthy! 🙂

  21. Treat and Trick March 21, 2015 at 10:12 am #

    What a colorful and delicious combo! Love your photos of clear skies and quiet road…

    • mj March 22, 2015 at 10:36 am #

      Thanks! Quiet road is a great description!

  22. Easyfoodsmith March 21, 2015 at 4:46 am #

    It is absolutely rare that I buy asparagus since it is sold here at the price of gold…well virtually. If it was possible, I would have invited myself over at your place to enjoy this salad 😉 😀

    • mj March 22, 2015 at 10:36 am #

      Well, it’s not cheap here, but probably cheaper than where you are. I can afford it when it’s in season because most of it is local, but once they have to start shipping it in, the price almost doubles. You are welcome here anytime!!! 🙂

  23. Amy (Savory Moments) March 20, 2015 at 4:42 am #

    This looks like a lovely dish! I always looks forward to asparagus season, but we still have a couple months before we see it around here! 🙂

    • mj March 22, 2015 at 10:34 am #

      Thanks Amy! I was actually quite surprised to see asparagus this early as well. But I’ll take it. 🙂

  24. Viviane Bauquet Farre March 19, 2015 at 7:57 pm #

    I love this, MJ! So quick to put together, and such a great representation of this moment in the season. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • mj March 19, 2015 at 8:35 pm #

      Thanks so much Viviane!

  25. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen March 19, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

    A healthy and delicious dish is something I need right now… Thanks MJ.

    • mj March 19, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

      Thanks Peachy! Hope you’re doing well Darlin!

  26. Bill March 19, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

    I always love salad type dishes with asparagus. I never thought of orange with asparagus and I’m loving the idea of it. Olives are “icing on the cake”! Beautiful photos of the drive and I hope you had a good time going home! Great post, MJ!

    • mj March 19, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

      Thanks so much Bill! I agree about the olives. 🙂 Yes, we did have a good trip!

  27. Carol at Wild Goose Tea March 19, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

    I have been eating so much asparagus that I was green for St Paddy’s day.
    I love the looks of the dish. I also often like having fruit with different dishes.
    I haven’t done that with asparagus. Thanx for the idea.

    • mj March 19, 2015 at 8:33 pm #

      I would love to see a green Carol! 🙂 Asparagus and orange is a great combination and works well with this salad. I hope you give it a try.

  28. Evelyne@cheapethniceatz March 19, 2015 at 5:38 am #

    Great road shots! And yay for asparagus season arriving. Really lovely salad and wow on the orange and kalamata pairing. Not sure I ever tried that but will now!

    • mj March 19, 2015 at 9:05 am #

      Thanks Evelyn!

  29. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles March 18, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

    I love driving in vast open places too MJ – (and sneaking in to local diners wherever I can find them for their breakfast specials) — sounds like you had a beautiful, peaceful trip.

    If I lived 150 years, I would have never thought to combine orange and Kalamata olive. Though I love them both, I’ve truly never thought of pairing the two… Not sure why considering lemon and olive is a dynamite combination, why not orange? I must try :D. What a pretty and vibrant spring plate this makes. Of course, I also noticed your lovely bokeh ;-).

    • mj March 19, 2015 at 9:05 am #

      If you like diners, then you would love the diner we ate at in Vaughn. It’s one of the two place one can eat there and it looks like an old 50’s diner. You expect the waitresses to be wearing pink and Bobbi socks. 🙂 It makes a great BLT. Orange and kalamatas are great together. Sometimes I’ll make a snack tray with orange wedges, kalamatas, and smoked sausage. Salty and good. 🙂 thanks for all of your wonderful comments Kelly!

      • Kelly @ Inspired Edibles March 21, 2015 at 10:35 am #

        yup, love diners. I feel like they offer that true, local experience you just can’t get elsewhere. The one in Vaughn sounds right up my alley :).

  30. Liz March 18, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

    Such a gorgeous side dish! I love the sweet salty topping on my favorite spring vegetable!

    • mj March 19, 2015 at 8:59 am #

      Thanks Liz!

  31. Katerina March 18, 2015 at 1:20 am #

    I used to hate asparagus because of their looks, now how stupid is this? And then I tried them and loved every bite. Kalamata is an area in the southern part of Greece in the area of Peloponnese that has a big production of olives. That’s where the name comes from. I love olives and they are packed with quality substances. This is a delicious dish!

    • mj March 18, 2015 at 9:24 am #

      I’m quite envious Katerina! Oh to be able to have access to Kalamata straight from the production site. I bet the flavor is a lot different than what I can buy here. I was raised eating canned asparagus so you can imagine my reaction when I was first served fresh asparagus. I didn’t believe I was actually eating asparagus is was SO good. 🙂

  32. John@Kitchen Riffs March 17, 2015 at 3:49 pm #

    I love the big sky vistas in your part of the world! So pretty. And on a drive like that, you get to see lots of them. 😉 Really nice recipe, and so good for spring. Orange and Kalamatas pair so well together. Never tried that combo with asparagus, though. Sounds wonderful! Thanks.

    • mj March 17, 2015 at 7:05 pm #

      Thanks John! Oh yes, that drive does provide plenty of big sky views. 🙂

  33. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef March 17, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

    I love those big skies!

    I also love asparagus and it’s winter and asparagus have gone to sleep until we get Spring again. Sigh. This dish looks so colorful and fresh.

    • mj March 17, 2015 at 7:05 pm #

      Thanks Maureen! Sorry that asparagus season has ended in your part of the world, but so glad it has started here. 🙂

  34. Tessa March 17, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

    I love the combination of flavors you have going on there! Also, I have to say what a beautifully vibrant dish!

    • mj March 17, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

      Looks like you finally got my email notice. Yay!! Hopefully the problem is solved. Thanks for letting me know there was a problem and thanks for your comments Tessa!

  35. Ramona March 17, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    Roads so open like this are truly beautiful. But I do get nervous because it’s just my luck that I end up having car trouble some place like this. 🙂

    Love the salad… it’s screaming spring!!! Hope you’re doing well and ready for the change in season. I can’t wait. 🙂

    • mj March 17, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

      There’s actually a name for when people get nervous in wide open spaces – Agoraphobia. I had a co-worker that actually had to move back east because New Mexico made her too anxious. This salad does scream spring, doesn’t it? Thanks Ramona!

  36. Angie@Angie's Recipes March 17, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

    MJ, the photos of The Road to Nowhere are so beautiful! I can’t wait for the asparagus season arrive here..your green asparagus with orange and olives looks very springy and delish.

    • mj March 17, 2015 at 6:58 pm #

      Thanks Angie! The road offers some really beautiful views. I couldn’t believe that the market had asparagus the other day. Looks like it’s coming in early here and I’m loving it. 🙂


  1. Hearth and Soul Blog hop: April 3rd Week - Zesty South Indian Kitchen - April 13, 2015

    […] 2) Asparagus and orange salad from MJs kitchen […]

Please comment to mj