Ever tried asparagus raw? It tastes mild and sweet! Eat it as shaved asparagus salad, which pairs the ribbons with a tangy lemon vinaigrette and Parmesan.
Ever tried asparagus raw? The first time Alex and I did, I was a little wary. Would it taste bitter, like cooked asparagus often does? Oddly enough: it was the exact opposite! Raw and shaved into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler, asparagus has a mild flavor: fresh and almost sweet. If you’re trying to convince an asparagus hater to try this healthy vegetable: this is your gateway! And if you’re a lover if this green veggie…well, you’ll just be head over heels. Drizzled in a lemon vinaigrette topped with Parmesan, this shaved asparagus salad is begging to get on your table.
Make sure to find large asparagus spears
Important, important! To make this recipe, you must find yourself some large asparagus spears. Now, typically Alex and I would tell you to get thin, tender asparagus spears. The flavor tastes milder, and they’re the best for most recipes, like roasted asparagus or lemon asparagus pasta.
It’s imperative that you find large asparagus for this recipe! Why? Thin spears have such thin ribbons, they’re almost impossible to shave off with a peeler. They break easily and they look sad on the plate. If all you can find is thin asparagus, abort and go make our Asparagus Salad instead! We promise you’ll be glad you did.
Read this first: how to make shaved asparagus!
Excited to make this salad? Us too. Before we start, warning: the hardest part of a shaved asparagus salad is—you guessed it!—shaving the asparagus! It will take a little practice to get comfortable. But here’s our method:
- Place the asparagus spear on a cutting board. Nope, don’t hold it in the air! It bends under the weight of a peeler. Instead, place it on a cutting board.
- Shave from the tip to the base. With a vegetable peeler, shave each spear from the from from the tip to the base. This is important, because otherwise the asparagus can break off. It takes a little practice, but is easy once you get the hang of it!
- Pat dry to remove moisture. Place the shavings in a bowl. Because the raw asparagus carries a lot of moisture, then pat them dry to remove extra water.
- Use the discarded asparagus! The shaving method for asparagus ends up with a large “discard” pile. A lot of half shaved pieces will remain. Use them for a stir fry or saute them up! They’re not pretty, but they taste great.
Making it into shaved asparagus salad
Now you’ve got a big bowl of shaved asparagus: let’s make shaved asparagus salad! Here we created a lemony vinaigrette, and the tangy flavor was just perfect. The best part is adding Parmesan cheese: it takes it to another level. But it’s extremely tasty without, if you’d like to go totally plant based.
A note on leftovers: they taste even better! As the salad sits in the refrigerator, the flavors meld together and get a bit stronger. If you’re serving to guests, we recommend serving immediately since the asparagus can pick up water as it sits. Leftovers aren’t the prettiest: but they’re extremely tasty!
Looking for asparagus recipes?
If you’ve got a bunch of this beautiful green veggie, here are a few other asparagus recipes you might enjoy:
- Broiled Asparagus
- Boiled Asparagus or Blanched Asparagus
- Asparagus Frittata
- Asparagus Tacos
- Orecchiette Pasta with Lemon Asparagus
- Best Sauce for Asparagus: Lemon Yogurt Sauce
- Asparagus Salad with Chili Lime Dressing
This shaved asparagus salad recipe is…Print
This shaved asparagus salad combines mild, thin sliced asparagus with a tangy lemon vinaigrette and Parmesan cheese shavings.
- 16 large asparagus spears (about 1 pound)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus lemon zest to serve
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese shavings (about 1.5 ounces)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- Make the shavings: Lay asparagus spears on a flat surface. With a vegetable peeler, shave each spear from the tip to the base (discard the outer peel). It takes a little practice, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it! Place the shavings in a bowl, and pat them dry to remove extra water. (You’ll have a lot of discarded pieces: you can save these and use them in a stir fry.)
- Make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, add the lemon juice. Then gradually whisk in the olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Serve: Toss the vinaigrette with the asparagus shavings, Parmesan shavings, kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Top with lemon zest (here’s how to zest it!) and a few pinches of red pepper flakes. Taste, and add additional seasonings if desired.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
- Category: Salad
- Method: Raw
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Shaved Asparagus Salad, Asparagus Salad, Asparagus Recipe, Healthy Salad Recipes, Best Salads,
Looking for salad recipes?
Outside of this shaved asparagus salad, here are a few favorite salad recipes:
- The BEST Kale Salad
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Nicoise Salad
- Apple Pear Salad with Curry Vinaigrette
- Grape Salad with Walnuts
- Caribbean Black Bean Salad
- Radish Chopped Salad Recipe
- Cucumber Salad with Vinegar
- Classic Vegan Potato Salad
- Italian Vegan Pasta Salad
- Wedge Salad with Potato Chips
- Easy Bean Salad
- Greek Salad
Last updated: January 2020
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.