Saturday, May 21, 2011

Shaved Asparagus with Parmesan Vinaigrette

Here's a new way to look at an old favorite (if you like asparagus). I thought about using my mandoline for this job (but I could easily envision a trip to the emergency room). So I took out my vegetable peeler like the recipe suggested. At first it seemed impossible that my peeler could do anything but mangle my lovely asparagus (and the first one was pretty mutilated). But I quickly got a good rhythm going and was done before I knew it.

I love the way shaving the asparagus tranforms the texture (I would never consider munching on a raw spear otherwise). And because they are raw, they make a nice cold salad for picnics or cookouts, especially for the raw foodist in your life (don't ask me what a raw foodist is doing at a cookout).

Makes 4 servings

12 large asparagus spears (about 1 pound), trimmed and peeled
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan, plus a piece for shaving
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.      Working with 1 asparagus spear at a time, use a vegetable peeler to shave spears into long, thin shavings. Transfer to a medium bowl (the tips will snap off as spears get thinner; add to bowl).
2.      Combine grated parmesan and lemon juice in a small bowl and slowly whisk in oil until well blended. Season vinaigrette generously with salt and pepper.
3.      Drizzle vinaigrette over shaved asparagus and toss to coat. Divide asparagus salad among plates. Use peeler to shave more parmesan over salad.

from Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer

asparagus (thick spears work best for shaving)
I discarded the tough top and bottom layers.
This is an example of how nice they look when the tip
stays in tact. But don't expect them all come out that way.
If the tip breaks off, just throw it in the bowl.
bowl of asparagus ribbons
closeup of asparagus ribbons
lemon halves

It's always best to use fresh ingredients whenever possible.
But that's especially true when you're using only a few simple
ingredients (you really want those flavors to shine through).
mixing the vinaigrette
shaved asparagus mixed with parmesan vinaigrette


Andria Crowjoy said...

You wouldn't eat raw asparagus otherwise? Around here we just try to make sure there's no dirt left on it. :)

Susan said...

It just never occurred to me to nibble on a raw spear (dirt or no dirt). Maybe I should try it?

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