It can take a few years for a new asparagus patch to become established; once that happens, you’ll probably be looking for new ways to enjoy this dependable perennial each season.
I recently discovered that shaved raw asparagus makes a very healthy and beautiful addition to salads. Choose relatively thick asparagus, trim off the tough bottoms, and use a vegetable peeler to do the shaving.
Shaved Asparagus Salad Recipe
adapted from Shaved Asparagus and Mint Salad
* 1 bunch of thick asparagus (about 1 pound), homegrown if possible
* 1 handful of mixed organic salad greens, homegrown if possible
* 3 tablespoons toasted almonds or roasted, shelled pistachios
* 1 tablespoon chopped basil or mint
* 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
* 2-3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
* 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
* shavings of parmesan cheese for garnish- optional
* coarse sea salt and fresh pepper- to taste
1. Shave the asparagus lengthwise to create strips by using a vegetable peeler. Toss with the salad greens, the nuts, and the herbs.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and the garlic. Pour over the salad and mix well so everything is coated with the dressing. Drizzle on a little more oil, if necessary, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Save parmesan over the top of the salad before serving, if desired.
–Winnie Abramson writes the organic gardening and food blog Healthy Green Kitchen.
Photo credits: Winnie Abramson