Wednesday, March 30, 2011
In the Raw
I'll bet that you've never considered eating asparagus raw. I know that I've never intentionally done it. But as I was flipping through my new Mario Batali cookbook, Molto Gusto, I ran across a photo of a raw asparagus salad and realized that I've had it at Otto. Actually, if you are a fan of that restaurant, Molto Gusto is the definitive Otto cookbook. (I'll have to move on to the pizzas next!) Anyhoo, this simple salad is certainly a new way to enjoy the spring veggie and chock full o'flavor as well. The cheese is a really nice counterpoint to the fresh asparagus and the tart vinaigrette (and the salad is otherwise so healthy) so feel free to add some more!
Shaved Asparagus Salad
1 pound large asparagus, thick ends trimmed off
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup coarsely grated pecorino romano
1. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus into long, thin strips and transfer to a medium bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, zest, and olive oil. Add about half of the vinaigrette to the asparagus, season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss to coat. Top with the cheese and additional pepper. Serve with the remaining vinaigrette on the side. Serves 4.
Note: I realized that I have never mentioned how to decide where to trim the woody ends on a bunch of asparagus. Take one piece of asparagus and hold the ends between your thumbs and forefingers. Slowly bend the stalk until it snaps. Discard the woody end piece and lay trimmed asparagus spear next to the remaining bunch on a cutting board. Line up all of the tips and trim all of the ends where the single stalk snapped. There's no need to do it one by one...well, you could, but this is faster!