Shortly after purchasing my house we discovered some crazy looking things growing out of the ground. It was late April and we were going to see my Grandmother for her birthday. We thought these things looked like they might be Asparagus but I had no idea how it grew and was kind of confused. We decided to pluck one of these things out of the ground and just make my Grandmother try it. When she tasted it she declared that it was indeed asparagus (and when hours later she still had not died from the mystery plant we figured it was safe to eat)!
Yes – asparagus grows right up out of the ground in individual stalks and you just break it off at the point the plant allows you to (then you only get the tender parts). When it is just right – these things can literally grow a foot in a day! During the season (early-mid spring) I can get a bunch (about the size of what you would buy in the market) about every other day. This goes on for about 2 – 4 weeks (some days more, and some days less). We love all of the fresh Asparagus and really enjoy making all sorts of things with it. (Which I just realized I have not really photographed/blogged/shared-I am sorry, I will work on that the rest of this year and next season for sure. I am so sorry I have not shared my [spring] garden with you more, I hope you can forgive me!!)
I kept seeing recipes for Asparagus Salad so I knew that when the season rolled around this year I wanted to make this beautiful salad! It takes slightly more work than other preparations of asparagus but it is so good. (Rich would have preferred a lot less Lemon Juice but that is one of the few places that our taste buds vary, I love acid-y flavors & he doesn’t). So feel free to adjust this to your tastes as you feel necessary.
Happy Spring & Almost Summer!
Shaved Asparagus Salad
copied from A Couple Cooks (yum)
- 16 large asparagus spears (about 1 pound)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (fresh-squeeze 1 lemon)
- Lemon zest (from that 1 lemon)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- Parmesan cheese
Shave your Asparagus…. Lay asparagus spears on a flat surface. With a vegetable peeler, shave each spear from the from the bottom up (discard just the very outer peel). If desired save the tips for something else (they don’t shave well). Place all shavings in a bowl.
Make your vinaigrette… combine Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Zest, Salt/Pepper
Toss the vinaigrette with the asparagus shavings. Let this mixture set at least 15 minutes and then taste. Adjust as necessary. Top with some swirls or grated Parmesan cheese, and a few pinches of red pepper flakes (whoops – I skipped this step, I typed it – but forgot to do it… make sure you don’t forget the Parmesan – it would have taken this to the next level!)
One Year Ago: Cream of Asparagus Soup
And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… What treasure(s) have you found at some point that you never knew were there (to your surprise/delight/shock)?