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
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 ounces Parmesan cheese
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.
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.
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.