This lighter, vegan asparagus potato salad features spring asparagus, roasted new potatoes, greens, and chewy french lentils for protein. Mixed with a lemony mustard dressing while the potatoes are still warm, it’s a lovely spring salad.
This post was originally published in June 2018. It has been updated with improvements to the text and recipe as of May 2020.
Adding asparagus to potato salad could never a bad thing, right? This one is adapted from my roasted new potato salad but simplified a bit, and with asparagus, the queen of spring (sorry rhubarb). For this particular version I mixed jack by the hedge, or garlic mustard, with the spinach.
It ends up being a pretty great light dinner, with lots of lentils to fill you up, and a surprisingly balanced meal for a potato salad. If nothing else it’s a very good reason to eat potato salad as a whole meal.
- New potatoes
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- Green asparagus
- Fresh greens (spinach, garlic mustard, etc.)
- Green lentils (see below)
Plus lemons, mustard, garlic, pepper, and maple syrup for the dressing.
The potatoes are mixed with some olive oil and salt, then roasted for about 40 minutes, with the asparagus added to the tray for the last five minutes. You really don’t want to overcook the asparagus – wait until the potatoes are quite golden, very nearly done, before adding it, to avoid limp stalks. A bit of crunch is a good thing.
The piping hot potatoes and asparagus are then added to a large bowl with the greens, lentils, and quickly mixed with the lemon dressing while everything is still hot. This is key! If you leave the potatoes to the side to cool, this will be blah and it should wow.
Mixing the dressing while everything is hot causes the greens to wilt, makes the fresh garlic in the dressing a bit milder, and allows the potatoes to absorb some of that lemon and mustard flavour. Make sure to eat it while it’s still warm, too.
Garlic mustard is an invasive plant in North America (which means you can harvest as much as you want without worrying) but native to Europe. It used to be hugely popular as a seasoning or addition to dishes as long as 7000 (!) years ago.
It’s everywhere at this time of year, May/June, and a delicious, garlicky green that can be used as a substitute for spinach or other fresh greens. I use it for pesto, adding to salads like this one, and in soups and dishes like these coconut rice noodles.
I’ve used a mix of this and baby spinach, but if you have enough garlic mustard, go for it and use it as the lone green here. It’s excellent with the sharp mustard in the dressing. As with most greens, it’s best when small, so harvest as early as you can. It can be a bit overwhelming raw but wilted by the roasted potatoes, it’s a treat.
Someone always asks, for potato salad, if they can sub sweet potatoes. And you can, but the taste and texture are really not comparable. In this recipe in particular I don’t recommend it (if you really want to try, sub them in this curry potato salad instead). You can, however, use main crop potatoes if you don’t have new potatoes. Just cut them into smaller pieces.
Any kind of hardy green – that is, spinach, kale, swiss chard, rucola, mustard greens, and so on – can be used in place of the spinach and garlic mustard. If you can’t find garlic mustard but can get ramsons or wild garlic, you can use some of that instead.
I call for green lentils, but black or mountain lentils are good too. Something with some bite, so that excludes red lentils or big brown lentils, both of which cook up a bit too soft.
Notes and Tips
The dressing offers an optional tablespoon of white wine vinegar, and this is by personal preference. I love the lemon here, but also need a bit more of a kick than straight lemon provides. If you don’t like higher acidity, leave it out.
I recommend a waxy potato variety for this recipe, and any time you’re eating whole potatoes rather than mashing. Charlotte is one of my favourites, one that I grow in the garden, and widely available.
More Asparagus Recipes
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- 500 grams (1 pound) new potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 250 grams (1/2 pound) green asparagus
- 50 grams (2 cups) fresh hardy greens (spinach, rucola, garlic mustard etc.)
- 150 grams (1 cup) cooked le puy green lentils
Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil, extra virgin
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (optional)
- Juice of one lemon (~ 3 tablespoons)
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise if necessary so that they're all about the same size, then place onto a large baking sheet with the olive oil and salt. Mix to coat, then roast for 35-40 minutes, or until golden.
- Wash and trim the asparagus. In the last 5 minutes of cooking time for the potatoes, place the asparagus onto the oven tray with them. They should turn bright green and soften slightly.
- Take the potatoes and asparagus out of the oven and place them into a large bowl. Add the greens and lentils, then top with the lemon vinaigrette and stir to combine. Serve warm.
Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette
- Add all ingredients to a small jar or bowl and shake or whisk to combine.
See above for full recipe notes and substitutions.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 351Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 709mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 13gSugar: 6gProtein: 12g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.