Monday, April 29, 2013

Ribboned Asparagus Salad with Lemon

It was a warm, sunny weekend in Manhattan, and S and I started our annual garden on the fire escape, so I was in the mood to make a spring-y salad. This one is from one of my favorite big food blogs, Smitten Kitchen, it is delightful, simple and I love that it's a no-cook asparagus dish. I only make one change- I used toasted pepitas instead of pine nuts which are far too expensive at my grocery store.

First, toast your pepitas (or pine nuts), I toast mine in a cast iron pan over medium-low heat with just a touch of olive oil, and I throw in some chili pepper flakes for taste, they don't brown up too much, so keep an eye out for when they turn golden.

Rinse the asparagus, then simply drag a vegetable peeler down with a firm hand, and you'll produce beautiful little ribbons of asparagus. 

They make such a lovely pile of deliciousness.

Heap it in a serving dish, give it a squeeze of lemon,

and a drizzle of olive oil.

Top with salt, pepper, and some curls of parmesan. 

1/4 cup pine nuts or sliced almonds, toasted* and cooled (I toasted pepitas)
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. 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. Serve immediately.

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