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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.

Shaved asparagus salad
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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.

Shaved asparagus salad

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Shaved asparagus salad

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!

Shaved asparagus

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:

This shaved asparagus salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, omit the cheese.

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Shaved asparagus

Shaved Asparagus Salad

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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 modest servings 1x


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
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese shavings (about 1.5 ounces)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes


  1. 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.)
  2. Make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, add the lemon juice. Then gradually whisk in the olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. 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

Looking for salad recipes?

Outside of this shaved asparagus salad, here are a few favorite salad recipes:

Last updated: January 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Elizabeth Spike says:

    How well does this salad last? I am going to make it for a potluck tonight and was wondering if I can make it over my lunch break or if I should make it right before I leave. THANKS!

    1. Alex says:

      You should be fine to make it ahead :-)

  2. Zoe says:

    I just tried this recipe for the first time and it is very good! I wont lie shaving the asparagus takes awhile and is a little frustrating especially when they break in half.
    I also recommend trying this recipe warm! I simply make the recipe as stated above and then just stick my single serving in the microwave for 35 seconds or so its great warm as well! Great recipe overall!

    1. Sonja says:

      Trying this warm sounds interesting — great idea! We’ll have to try it once asparagus is in season for us in the spring!

  3. Jeanine says:

    i’m dying to try shaved asparagus too – yours looks delicious!

  4. Courtney Jones says:

    I must try this recipe! :) Fresh local asparagus just hit the markets here and I cannot wait to try some shaved asparagus in a salad. Sounds delicious – especially when paired with fresh flavours such as lemon.