Shaved Asparagus Salad

When I was younger, I hated asparagus. I hated hated hated asparagus. It wasn’t until Ryan and I started dating that I was able to begin to overcome my feelings toward asparagus. Ryan roasted some asparagus in the first meal that he made for me. And that was the beginning of a new world for me and asparagus to live in.

We recently joined a CSA and our first delivery had some rather nice looking asparagus in it. I saw a salad in the May 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living that used shaved asparagus. You don’t have to even turn on the oven! Since it is really really hot out and we don’t have central air conditioning, any food that doesn’t require added heat is fine by me.

To prepare the salad, you snap off the ends of the asparagus spears and then use a vegetable peeler to shave it into ribbons. Please note, this is a lot easier said than done.  If our asparagus had been thicker it might have worked out better.  I alternated between using a vegetable pealer and using a small mandolin to try to shave the asparagus into ribbons.  Once you have shaved the asparagus into ribbons, then you toss the ribbons with lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and ground pepper. One of the goals that I have established for myself is to work on my improvisational skills in the kitchen.  (This is one of the reasons that I bake far more often than I cook.  Baking basically requires that you don’t improvise.)  So, instead of the shaved Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese that was used in the magazine’s recipe, I topped it with some toasted almonds for a little bit of crunch.  I’m sure that the cheese would also taste very good but the almonds were also incredibly delicious.

It is a really tasty salad.  The lemons that I had were very fragrant and lemony.  I added quite a bit of pepper and I recommend doing that if you are going to try this salad.

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