Monday, March 12, 2012
Shaved Asparagus and Arugula Salad
So when I decided to host a brunch last week for a few of my friends, the preparation began. It started with a frenzy of looking through magazines, trolling Pinterest, and sifting through my favorites blogs for inspiration. I had a basic idea of what I wanted to make pretty quickly, which included some of my own classics like a Swiss chard and leek tart and a few new recipes. I had a gorgeous cocoa nib coffee cake from Ashley at not without salt and a blood orange and blueberry jam (I'll be sharing that recipe later this week) with biscuits and goat cheese. I was just missing a salad and getting no inspiration whatsoever from the usual places.
This is a very easy salad to make and absolutely captures the best of spring flavors. It's is a bit tangy, salty and bitter and wonderfully green and light. You can serve four with the proportions given here, but the recipe easily doubles.
1 bunch of asparagus (about 20 spears)
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper
large handful of arugula
Pecorino or Parmesean cheese for shaving over the salad
arugula blossoms or other edible flowers (optional, but they make the salad something special)
In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste (use less salt than you would usually as the cheese adds some saltiness as well) and whisk again.
Cut or break off the tough lower portion of the asparagus stems. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, begin shaving off strips of asparagus turning the stem in your hand as you go. You can also very thinly slice the asparagus lengthwise if you like. Toss the asparagus strips along with the arugula into the bowl and mix with the dressing. Pour the salad into a large plate and using your vegetable peeler, shave strips of cheese over the top. If using the flowers, sprinkle them over the salad.