Charred Asparagus & Dates with Goat Cheese
It will take you 15 minutes (or less) to prepare this textural masterpiece: snappy asparagus, creamy goat cheese, crunchy radishes, and—the star of the show—chewy charred dates. Because dates are full of natural sugars, they caramelize and char quickly in a hot skillet, turning gooey on the inside and crisp on the outside. A fabulous topping on any plate of vegetables, they make an especially wonderful counterpart to crunchy spring produce.
This is wonderful as an appetizer (in place of a more traditional green salad), or as a colorful spring side dish.
- 1 watermelon radish or 2-3 red radishes, trimmed, very thinly sliced
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- ¼-½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp House Blend or Olio Santo EVOO, divided, plus more for drizzling
- 1 bunch asparagus (about 1lb), trimmed
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 Medjool dates, pitted, halved lengthwise
- 3oz fresh goat cheese (can sub feta)
- 2 Tbsp coarsely chopped mint
- Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, for finishing
Toss radishes, lemon zest and juice, and kosher salt in a small bowl and set aside to soften and mellow.
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Working in batches if needed, cook asparagus in a single layer, undisturbed, until slightly charred underneath, about 2 minutes. Shake pan to turn asparagus and continue to cook, shaking pan occasionally, until asparagus is crisp-tender and charred in spots, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with black pepper and red pepper flakes. Transfer asparagus to a platter and sprinkle with Maldon Salt (or more kosher salt if you don't have).
Wipe out skillet. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil over medium. Cook dates, stirring occasionally, until charred in spots and beginning to stick to pan, about 3 minutes.
Scatter dates over asparagus, then crumble goat cheese over. Top with mint and reserved radishes, then drizzle with oil and any liquid from radish bowl. Finish with a little additional Maldon Sea Salt (especially good over the dates) if you like, and serve warm!
Recipe and photo adapted from Bon Appetite.
- Sub Blood Orange or Basil evoo for the House Blend/Olio Santo for a whole other layering of bright flavors into this dish!
- Don't have or like goat cheese? Try subbing feta or dollops of a salted ricotta instead.