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Delicious Dish: Summer Asparagus Salad

June 2nd, 2011 1 Comment

This salad is as light and delicious as it looks!

In search of an alternative green dish for dinner last night, I found this easy recipe on one of my favorite cooking blogs – Smitten Kitchen.

If you can, try to:

  • Buy the asparagus at the farmer’s market (best in warm weather)
  • Use a high grade olive oil
  • Be patient when you’re peeling the asparagus
  • Eat immediately

Ribbony Asparagus Salad with Lemon and Parmesan
From Smitten Kitchen inspired by the Union Square Cafe

There are no exact measurements in this recipe. Everything is to taste, so taste as you go along to make sure you’re getting all the Parmesan, nutty, and lemony flavors you want.

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or sliced almonds, toasted* and cooled
  • 1 pound asparagus, rinsed
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 ounces Parmesan cheese

No need to snap off the tough ends of your asparagus. Lay a single stalk on its side on a cutting board. Holding onto the tough end, use a vegetable peeler (a Y-shaped peeler is easiest, but I’ve used a standard one successfully) to shave off thin asparagus ribbons from stalk to tip, peeling away from the tough end in your hand. [Updated] Discard the tough ends once you’re done peeling. Gently pile your ribbons on a medium-sized serving platter.

Squeeze some lemon juice over the asparagus, drizzle it with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Toss gently and then use your peeler to shave curls of Parmesan right off the block, over the asparagus. Sprinkle with some toasted nuts. Repeat with remaining asparagus, a third of the remaining bundle at a time. Eat immediately.

* I toast mine in a single layer on a baking sheet at 350 for 5 to 10 minutes. It’s really important, especially with pine nuts, that you stay close and toss them frequently because they love to burn, but if you move them around a bit, you can get a wonderful, even coffee coffee color on them and an intensely nutty flavor. It makes even unfancy nuts taste amazing.


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  • caro-NY

    I have been eating a variation of this- sliced asparagus, sliced radish (i’ve used a mandolin to slice them thinly) and shredded kale, with pine nuts in a simple lemon vinaigrette- takes 2 minutes to put together and is delicious!