Cold Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar


This side dish requires a small amount of preparation time and several hours of “place in the refrigerator and forget about it” time.

  • 2 bunchs of asparagus
  • 2 cubanelles (sometimes referred to as Italian Frying Peppers) [note 1]
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 can water-packed artichoke hearts
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  1. Cut off about 2 inches from the bottom of the asparagus.
  2. Steam the asparagus stems till they are soft but not mushy. [note 2]
  3. When asparagus is done (remember, soft…not mushy) remove from steamer, place in a large bowl and put to the side. The asparagus will continue to cook as it cools down.
  4. Cut the onion and the peppers into small pieces.
  5. Fry the onions and peppers in about 2 glugs [note 3] of olive oil. You want the onions to be limp and the peppers to be bright green. When done, place it in the same bowl as the asparagus.
  6. Cut the artichoke hearts into small pieces and add to the bowl.
  7. Drizzle about four glugs (about 1/4 cup) of balsamic vinegar over all of the ingredients (remember…you put them all in a large bowl) and mix everything around. It will be easier to do it with your hands. Using a utensil may break the asparagus stems.
  8. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for about 2-3 hours.
  9. Remove from refrigerator about 1 hour before serving. This will bring it a bit closer to room temperature.

  1. I stumbled across this interesting recipe for Marinated Cubanelles while googling.
  2. You’ll want to “test” the asparagus after it has been steaming for about 3-4 minutes. When you bite into a piece it will be soft on the outside and will retain some firmness as you bite all the way through. If you have ever had asparagus from a can, they tend to be mushy with no detectable firmness. When steaming fresh asparagus, try to be aware of subtle color changes as it is cooking.
  3. “Glug” is a liquid measure. When you pour oil out of a large can, it makes a glug sound as it comes out of the spout. You’ll need two of these glugs. Those unfamiliar with this liquid measure might want to pour enough oil to cover the bottom of the frying pan.
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