This uber simple salad honors the fleeting perfection of one of the gifts of the Spring: fresh local asparagus.
Raw asparagus has a tender crunch and grassy fresh flavor. I combined it with complementary flavors: parmesean cheese shreds, grassy olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper. This recipe relies on the quality and freshness of two key ingredients: asparagus, and cheese. Buy a wedge of real Parmigiano-Reggiano, and shave or grate it only as you use it. The flavor is much, much better than pre-shredded cheese.
This simple recipe is a great example of my favorite way to cook: get wonderful quality ingredients, pair with complementary flavors, and don’t over-do it. That’s one reason why I seldom make salad dressings. No need! I like to let the main ingredients speak rather than hiding them with complicated dressings. One of my go-to resources for developing new recipes is The Flavor Bible. It’s really fun for me to look up a key ingredient and get inspired by flavor combos.
Here’s to making the most of our seasonal harbinger of Spring: asparagus. Enjoy!
Asparagus Salad with Parmesean
1 big bunch thick stemmed, fresh asparagus
1/2 cup freshly cut Parmigiano-Reggiano curls
2 TB best quality extra virgin olive oil
1 TB fresh squeezed lemon juice
fresh ground black pepper
optional: 2 TB minced fresh oregano
Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice the asparagus steeply on the bias in thin slices. Just before serving combine with cheese curls, olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt (to taste), and fresh ground black pepper. Garnish with minced fresh oregano if desired.