Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Raw Asparagus and Lemon Salad



I feel like I'm going in circles. An asparagus salad, dressed with lemon and olive oil, scattered with cheese? Sounds familiar? Well, yes, but in my defence this is a) a different recipe, b) easier, c) nicer. Consider this a variation on a theme, a second edition, a re-released Director's Cut.

This recipe came from the beautiful Smitten Kitchen blog and unlike the Jamie Oliver chargrilled asparagus salad which I've done before, this recipe shaves the stems into long ribbons and serves them raw. I fiddled with the recipe slightly, removing the toasted pine nuts (because we didn't have any) and adding a bit of fresh mint. I should also point out that this version is a hell of a lot quicker to prepare - it's almost embarrassingly easy. As long as you've got a good peeler, you'll be done in a few minutes. 

However you tweak it, I think this could be the perfect summery salad. I fully admit that I was sceptical about eating asparagus raw, but if you are reading this with equal scepticism, please let me convince you that it was delicious! The flavour is so bright, fresh and grassy, the whole salad stays crunchy, and there's none of the greasiness of Jamie Oliver's version. Light, zingy and vibrant. And raw! Who knew?

 
Raw Asparagus Salad
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- Asparagus (as much as you like)
- a lemon
- olive oil, salt and pepper
- parmesan
- a few mint leaves
This recipe is really a paean to the peeler. Holding on to the tough end of the asparagus, use the peeler to shave long strips of asparagus, moving from the tough end to the tip (you can then chuck the tough end away). Dress with a squeeze of lemon juice, some olive oil, salt and pepper, then use the peeler again to shave over some curls of parmesan. I also tore over a few mint leaves because the plant is going bananas after the recent rain and it needed to be used. Either way, this is quick, easy, pretty. Enjoy! 

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