Asparagus Salad from Talulla’s Conor Dennehy

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Tired of the basic, one-dimensional asparagus side-dish? Tallula chef-owner Conor Dennehy shares an inspirational preparation of the classic spring veg, and it’s all cheffed up with sorrel, diced green almonds and a rye crumb topping. Don’t worry if that’s above your culinary paygrade — Dennehy’s recipe will be your guide to a light and seasonal dish that’s packed with flavor. 


Servings: 4


  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • sea salt for finishing
  • wild onion or chive flowers for finishing
for the pickles:
  • 1 cup green almonds
  • 3 shallots
  • 2 cups rice wine vinegar
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • salt as needed
for the sauce:
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 bushel sorrel
  • 3 ounces extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste
for the crumble:
  • 1/4 cup rye flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 ounces soft butter
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


for the asparagus:
  1. Start with the asparagus and cook it on high heat. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the grill or in a cast iron pan. High heat will ensure caramelization while retaining some of that snap that we all love for the asparagus. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes or so depending on the size of the asparagus that you’re using.
  2. Pull off the heat and reserve. 
for the pickles:
  1. Thinly slice the green almonds and shallots. Keep them separate from one another.
  2. Sprinkle a little salt over each.
  3. Bring the water, vinegar and sugar to a boil.
  4. Pour enough pickling liquid over the almonds and shallots to cover.
  5. Reserve and let cool.
for the sauce:
  1. Place buttermilk in blender with sorrel and turn to high speed until the buttermilk mixture is bright green and smooth.
  2. Turn the blender down to medium speed and slowly drizzle in the Olive Oil.
  3. Season to taste and reserve.
for the crumble:
  1. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine.
  2. Add soft butter and work it into the dry ingredient mixture until it starts to become clumpy.
  3. Bake mixture at 350 degrees until golden brown. Usually it’s about 8-12 minutes depending on the strength of the oven.
  4. After it’s cool, either chop finely or place in food processor to achieve a powdery consistency and reserve. 
to assemble
  1. Lay the asparagus on serving plate and sprinkle with sea salt.
  2. Spoon over some of the sorrel sauce.
  3. Gently arrange pickled almonds and shallots on top of the asparagus.
  4. Sprinkle Crumble in a diagonal line across the asparagus.
  5. Finish with wild onions or chives flowers and serve.

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