Friday, June 16, 2017

Raw Shaved Asparagus Salad Two Ways

Being such a food-focused province, the winter months have a way of taking its toll on us Ontarians, having to endure months and months of minimal options and repetition when it comes to local produce. There's no better sight than the first discovery of local asparagus at the market, as it has become a signifier for the beginning of Spring and all of the seasons big, fresh flavours for Ontarians.
With asparagus at its peak in the Spring, there's no better time to turn off the heat and play around with different raw preparations for this healthy and flavourful green. Serving asparagus raw allows its true flavours to shine through, as well as taking advantage of its fantastic  crunchy texture. This recipe lets asparagus act as the star, dressing it in a light vinaigrette that highlights asparagus's natural flavours, without overwhelming it. More than that, this recipe gives you the option of serving the salad two ways; standing along, garnished with pistachios and parmesan cheese, as a light accompaniment to lunch or dinner; or as an appetizer, using it as a topping for goat cheese crostini.

This article was originally posted in Fredi Magazine. CLICK HERE to check out the spread!

Tip: Save any remaining dressed salad to add into an omelette the next day!

2 lb thick asparagus spears, trimmed & peeled into ribbons
Salad Dressing
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp mint, cut into very fine ribbons
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. chopped pistachios, lightly toasted
shaved parmesan cheese, for garnish
8-10 thin slices baguette, cut on a bias
olive oil
about 1/2 cup goats cheese

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon, and mint, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a medium bowl, add asparagus ribbons. Add 3/4 of dressing and toss. Taste, and add remaining dressing as needed. 
  3. Divide salad in half. Plate half garnished with pistachios and parmesan cheese shavings and serve as a salad.
  4. Use the remaining half of the salad for topping the crostini. Lightly brush baguette slices with olive oil and lightly toast or grill. Spread evenly with about 1-Tbsp. goats cheese each, and top evenly with remaining asparagus salad. Serve immediately. 
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