Shaved raw asparagus with lemon dressing [Vegan]

Jaymi's Notes:
Simple dishes of the best ingredients are usually the tastiest meals. This basic salad recipe underscores this point. The sweetness of asparagus in the early spring can be fully appreciated in this healthful and delicious raw dish. It takes a little bit of time to shave the asparagus, but after that this recipe comes together quickly. It can be made ahead of time for dinners or picnic lunches. I served this with a couple pieces of toasted baguette spread with avocado, a dash of salt and sprinkle of parmesan.

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Kelly's Recipe:

Making foods with raw ingredients is all the rage now, and I've tried a few recipes, but it's not something that really bowls me over. Having said that, this shaved raw asparagus salad was extremely simple, but full of flavour. I tried a raw asparagus salad last season, which had a soy based dressing, but I have to say, this lemon dressing was much more intense.

It's great to make this kind of salad while the asparagus is young and tender. As the harvest comes to a close in a few weeks, the stalks will probably be a bitter tougher. That's when I get out my canning pot and pickle asparagus, which I find unbelievably addictive.

This recipe is from the website Food52. One of the commenters suggested adding pine nuts. I didn't have any, so I chopped up a couple of cashews to sprinkle on top, and it was a nice addition.

Shaved Raw Asparagus with Lemon Dressing

1 bunch asparagus (about 30 stems) washed and tough ends removed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ cup shaved parmesan cheese (omit for a vegan version of this salad)
¼ teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp pine nuts (or cashews, or toasted slivered almonds, or... whatever you'd like, really.)

1. Cut tips off asparagus and reserve for another use. With a potato peeler shave asparagus spears, turning and shaving, until you have shaved as much as you can – you will have little ends and pieces left over – just reserve them with the tips for another use.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

2. Place in bowl with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour and up to 2 hours. The lemon juice will tenderize the asparagus.

3. Remove from fridge. Toss in shaved parmesan (or not, if you're going the vegan route). Adjust for salt. Serve to plates and grind a little pepper over each one.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Tags: Cooking | The Cooking Project | Vegan | Vegetarian | Weekday Vegetarian