“You know, when you get your first asparagus, or your first acorn squash, or your first really good tomato of the season, those are the moments that define the cook’s year. I get more excited by that than anything else.” Mario Batali
Celebrate the End of Asparagus Season 2012
There’s another equally important and defining moment. It comes at the end of each season when you enjoy the last of a treasured food. And that’s where we are now, the end of asparagus season—unless you live in California, where it’s always asparagus season. Fresh, uncooked ribbons of asparagus allow its delicate, woodsy flavor to shine. When paired with fresh lemon juice, good olive oil, Pecorino cheese and toasted almonds you have a healthy and unique salad for celebrating asparagus at the end, beginning and middle of its season.
As we shared this salad at dinner the other night, my husband Paul commented that this is his new favorite way to enjoy asparagus. Crisp, light and fresh asparagus ribbons naturally go together with these hot days of summer we are enjoying, when only a salad will do.
Salads are my saviors at the moment—lunch and dinner for sure. And Salad Wraps for breakfast. I make them with a few freshly harvested lettuce leaves wrapped around a bit of hummus, a slice of avocado, a couple of fragrant leaves of basil and arugula plus a thin slice or two of tomato. Very quick to gather together and fun to eat. Satisfying, super flavorful and vibrant with everything but the hummus and avocado freshly harvested.
Saint Louis Food Media Forum
You may have noticed the image on my blog saying that I’m going to the Food Media Forum. Well, it’s happening. The event begins this Saturday with a full day’s writing workshop taught by Diane Jacob author of Will Write for Food. Then Sunday focuses on food photography as well as the technical and ethical issues related to food blogs. I’m excited to learn more about the fine art of food blogging, meet fellow bloggers and visit Saint Louis. I’ll share highlights of the weekend with you in an upcoming blog.
Summer is definitely salad season
Enjoy some of my other favorite salads:
- Curried Quinoa Salad w/ Dried Cranberries & Toasted Almonds
- Farro & Vegetable Salad w Lemon Cilantro Vinaigrette
- Fennel, Apple, Jicama and Radish Slaw
- Raw Kale, Cabbage and Jicama Salad
- Jade Salad w Broccoli, Snow Peas, Sugar Snaps & Sobas
- Roasted Marinated Beet Salad w/ Goat Cheese & Toasted Walnuts
- Mint & Scallion Soba Noodle Salad w/ Cucumber, Carrot & Green Bean Threads
Serves 3-4 as an entrée salad
Toast the slivered almonds in a 350 degree oven 5-7 minutes until golden brown.
Wash the asparagus and dry it well. Do not snap off the ends of the asparagus spears, as they become the perfect handle. Use a “Y” peeler if you have one to easily shave the asparagus ribbons. Other sharp peelers will work though you will want to place each spear in line with the edge of your cutting board so the peeler can go low enough to shave most of it.
Divide the spears into three approximately equal groups. Holding on to the bottom end of a spear lightly draw the peeler all the way from the bottom to the tip. Discard the “handle” and scatter the ribbons on a plate.
When you have completed 1/3 of the asparagus, drizzle on 1/3 of the lemon juice and 1/3 of the olive oil. Sprinkle with a little coarse salt and fresh pepper, 1/3 of the almonds and 1/3 of the cheese.
Repeat this twice more with each of the remaining two groups of asparagus.
Let the salad sit for about 15 minutes before serving for the flavors to marry and the asparagus to slightly soften.
Click Asparagus Ribbon Salad for a printable version of this recipe without images