Ribboned Asparagus Salad with Lemon and Parmesan

Ribboned Asparagus Salad with Lemon
I’ve been eyeing this recipe for ribboned asparagus salad for a while now and decided since I had some extra asparagus in the fridge, there was no better time to try it. What I love about it is it requires no cooking—wait, you do have to roast some pine nuts, but that hardly counts. It does take a little elbow grease, especially if you don’t have a y-peeler, but really, creating those lovely asparagus ribbons isn’t too terrible with a regular vegetable peeler. With a simple toss of lemon juice and olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, pepper, parmesan and pine nuts, lunch was ready.
This was totally different than the asparagus I roasted earlier in the week. Instead of earthy and nutty, the flavor was vibrant and fresh. The lemon juice really brings forth a crispness to the asparagus that’s contrasted by the saltiness of the parmesan and the tender hint of nuttiness that the pine nuts bring. I’ve actually made this a few times, once without the parmesan and I think the parmesan really adds both a great texture and flavor to the salad.
ribbon asparagus salad with parmesan + pine nuts
recipe from smitten kitchen
There are no exact measurements in this recipe, since I was making this for lunch for myself, I just used a few asparagus stalks, a squirt of lemon etc. Everything is to taste, so taste as you go along to make sure you’re getting all the Parmesan, nutty, and lemony flavors you want.
 
1/4 cup pine nuts or sliced almonds, toasted* and cooled
1 pound asparagus, rinsed
1 lemon, halved
Olive oil
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 ounces Parmesan cheese
1
Lay a single stalk on its side on a cutting board. Holding onto the tough end, use a vegetable peeler (a Y-shaped peeler is easiest, but I’ve used a standard one successfully) to shave off thin asparagus ribbons from stalk to tip, peeling away from the tough end in your hand. Throw away the rough ends when you’re done.
2
Gently pile your ribbons in a bowl. Squeeze some lemon juice over the asparagus, drizzle it with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Toss gently.
3
Use your peeler to shave curls of Parmesan right off the block, over the asparagus. Sprinkle with some toasted nuts.
To toast the pine nuts:
Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet at 350 for 5 to 10 minutes. It’s really important, especially with pine nuts, that you stay close and toss them frequently because they love to burn, but if you move them around a bit, you can get a wonderful, even coffee coffee color on them and an intensely nutty flavor. It makes even unfancy nuts taste amazing.

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