Saturday afternoon, back in Brunei, and desperately craving something somehow 'cleansing' to eat after my bout of illness in Thailand. I eat Asian food all the time here, but at this point I just wanted something somehow different, although I couldn't quite decide what that was. My forum-friends came to the rescue of course, with Megan happening to post this fresh and delicious salad recipe from Bon Appétit which I just had to make straight away.
Shaved Asparagus with Parmesan Vinaigrette
Bon Appétit | May 2011
yield: Makes 4 servings
Shaving asparagus with a vegetable peeler transforms the texture of a raw stalk into silky strips. This revelatory technique works well with all kinds of vegetables, from carrots to zucchini.
• 12 large asparagus spears (about 1 pound), trimmed and peeled
• 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan plus a piece for shaving
• 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Working with 1 asparagus spear at a time, use a vegetable peeler to shave spears into long, thin shavings. Transfer to a medium bowl (the tips will snap off as spears get thinner; add to bowl). Combine grated Parmesan and lemon juice in a small bowl and slowly whisk in oil until well blended. Season vinaigrette generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette over shaved asparagus and toss to coat. Divide asparagus salad among plates. Use peeler to shave more Parmesan over salad.
I could only find one decent package of (baby) asparagus - annoying because usually there's plenty around. However, this produced enough for 2 portions despite being rather a hassle to 'shave' - but worth every second of that hassle I assure you.
I didn't worry too much about the quantities for the dressing, as they had to be dictated by the fact that I only had a walnut-sized piece of parmesan left in the fridge (we use it so rarely I had completely forgotten we were nearly out). The dressing was fresh, astringent and lemony, very lemony, but as a lemon-fiend that suits me fine. Others might want to add the juice judiciously and taste as they go along. I ended up with half the dressing left over, but stirred it into some shredded cabbage the following evening and enjoyed it again. I think it would work with any veg.
We served this asparagus saled with a simply-roasted chicken (rubbed with lemon juice and olive-oil, then sprinkled generously with ground pepper) and some roasted cherry tomatoes and baby corn. Rob also had cous cous, but I fancied a carb-free meal. It was simple and delicious; simply delicious in fact. Definitely a 'keeper'.