Raw Asparagus Salad

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Asparagus is delicious cooked, but it’s also really good raw. And this time of year, when the asparagus is coming in fast, you need more than one way to cook it and eat it.

I made up this recipe on Friday night when I had fresh asparagus and the perfect weather for a quick on-the-grill dinner of lemon-garlic chicken, Romano couscous, and asparagus salad. The whole meal took me about 20 minutes to make.

I’ll share all these recipes with you, but first comes the salad:

Raw Asparagus Salad

Serves 4 to 6 people

Ingredients:

1 bunch (12 to 20 sticks) asparagus
3 sprigs mint
2 sprigs basil
¼ cup pine nuts
Juice of ½ lemon
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste

Directions:

1. Wash the asparagus and snap off the ends (bend the stalk and let it break where it will; that’s how you know you have the fresh part left). Cut into 2-inch pieces and quarter (like julienned, only without the fuss).

2. Wash and chop the mint (I prefer apple mint) and basil and add to the asparagus.

3. Toast the pine nuts and add to the salad.

4. Make the dressing using the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Emulsify with a fork and mix with the asparagus.

It seemed like it might be good with some fresh feta cheese, but I didn’t have any. Of course, I always add fresh ground pepper too, but my kids don’t like it so I just add it to mine.

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5 Responses to Raw Asparagus Salad

  1. Cyndie May 3, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    This recipe sounds like it would be really good on ‘Salad of Ma`che’ (sometimes called lamb’s lettuce or corn salad) which is getting more popular at the farmers market and really easy to grow. It’s early spring and late summer plantings If you ever see it…try it! (they usually sell it with the roots attached) It’s a pleasant addition!
    Maria ….thanks for another winner! You’re whole dinner sounded delicious!!

  2. Liza (Good to Grow, in Albuquerque) May 3, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    I don’t think I’ve ever eaten asparagus raw. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Donna in Delaware May 3, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    Raw asparagus can be beautifully crunchy and sweet eaten raw. Just make sure it has tight heads, firm and little to no blemishes. When I do eat it raw, I usually eat it as a crudite with other cut-up raw veggies and a nice dip, um, um, good!
    Thanks for the recipe Maria.

  4. carol winer May 3, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    One of the great–really memorable–experiences is finding, picking, eating wild asparagus. (Thus the old classic title “stalking the wild asparagus” from Whole Earth days. Eating it raw from the garden or green market next best! Yummm

  5. Todd May 4, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    my daughter and I just snap them off when we’re in the garden.. they never make it to the table. a great snack when we are picking weeds.

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