Nutty and Raw: Asparagus and Carrot Salad

May 16, 2012 § 4 Comments

It’s asparagus season, finally, and I’ve been going out to the garden every day to see if the little green tips are poking up through the dirt. I put our asparagus patch in about 12 years ago and it’s going great guns now. I can pick almost every day. Asparagus grows 7 inches a day if the weather is really warm, so fast they say you can watch it growing. That means I have to come up with different ways of eating it besides the usual plunged into boiling salted water method.

So I roast it, make soup, saute it with other veggies, put it in quiche and give it away. One of my favorite ways to eat it is raw, made into a salad and dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. This is so delicious and easy you have to try it if you haven’t already.

Just take a vegetable peeler, and holding it down on the counter, slice long strips of the stalk. It takes a little bit of time to do this, but all good things take time (another one of those sayings).

I wanted to balance the somewhat nutty taste of the asparagus, so I added some carrot shavings to this, gives it a little bit of sweetness.

Then all you need is olive oil, lemon, Parmesan cheese and a few pine nuts. I always like to see what I can come up with to sprinkle on top of dishes, it gives it that little oomph, you know? My thyme is right outside the kitchen door so I picked a few leaves and then sprinkled on a bit of orange zest, yum. So good.

Instead of carrots, you could try zucchini, add some parsley and chives for an all green dish. But really try asparagus raw sometime, I think you’ll like it.

The Ingredients:

about 1/2 lb asparagus, 5 or 6 stalks

2 large carrots

4 TBL olive oil

2 TBL lemon juice

handful of pine nuts, toasted if you feel like it, if you don’t that’s ok

Parmesan shavings, as little or as much as you want. Pecorino Romano is also good

a few thyme leaves – they’re tiny but strong enough for this

a sprinkling of orange zest (organic preferably)

good amount of sea salt, a flaky one is best (like Maldon)

pepper

The Making:

Shave large pieces of the asparagus, then the carrots, and put in a shallow bowl. Use the tips of the asparagus too. No need to mix the oil and lemon, just pour it right on the vegetables. Toss, add salt and pepper, toss again. Taste and adjust the seasonings. You may have to add a bit more salt, asparagus loves salt. Then add the Parmesan, shaved, and top with the pine nuts, flecks of thyme and orange zest.

Asparagus is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. High in chlorophyll, it’s a good blood builder.

Carrots are one of the healthiest foods we can eat. Loaded with Vit A and beta carotene, carrots are a cancer fighting food.

illustration by me

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