Chef John’s Spring Shaved Asparagus Salad
Shaved salads are a simple way to showcase the best of farmers’ market vegetables. Thinly slice vegetables using a vegetable peeler, toss them in a lemony vinaigrette, and top with salty cheese, like Parmesan, and nuts. This shaved asparagus salad showcases the best of early spring. I love it and it’s so crunchy and delicious. Serve it on your Easter table. – Chef John
Finely grated zest of 1/2 medium lemon
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallot (from about 1 medium)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 pound thick asparagus spears, tough bottoms removed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed shaved Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1. Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, shallot, and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a medium frying pan over medium heat, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove to a small bowl to cool.
3. Using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the asparagus lengthwise into strips and place in a large bowl. (If you have trouble peeling the final portion of an asparagus spear, prop the spear up on the flat wooden handle of a spatula or spoon. This will raise it just high enough to allow the peeler to move freely.)
4. Whisk the olive oil into the lemon-vinegar mixture in a thin and steady stream. Taste and season the dressing with salt and pepper as needed
5. Add the cooled pine nuts, dressing, half of the Parmesan, and all of the parsley to the asparagus and toss with your hands to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Let sit at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve topped with the remaining Parmesan cheese slices.
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