Pretty sure I paid at least 7 bucks for an asparagus salad like this at a fancy restaurant once. Maybe it’s because peeling individual spears one by one with a potato peeler into thin ribbons is approximately 37% insane, 13% thrilling and 50% stroke of genius (someone better check my math).
Yet it couldn’t be simpler, and it’s the simple dishes like this one that blow your mind. Suddenly asparagus is not just a knobby green pencil-looking thing, but rather a delicate ribbon of veggie fettuccine that could possibly dethrone zoodles, at least for a season.
Stunning. Simple. Scandalous (if zoodles being dethroned is considered scandalous which to me it kind of is – dibs on starting the trend!). Isn’t that what real cooking should be?
Simplest Asparagus Salad aka Asparagus Fettuccini
This is fabulous and if you’ve never painstakingly peeled asparagus spears (it doesn’t really take that long, I swear), just try it. It’s worth every slurp.
- 1 bunch of fresh, raw asparagus spears peeled into ribbons (stingy ends removed; tops saved for snacking)*see notes
- Extra virgin olive oil, enough to coat
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Maldon sea salt flakes, to finish
- Cracked pepper
How To Make It
- Peel, toss, zest, sprinkle, crack-a-da-peppa, toss, serve.
*Hold asparagus towards the thicker root end and bend with fingers to snap – it will naturally snap where the stringier bits are (you can discard those, compost them or save them for stock).
*To peel, hold the floret and peel away from you, flip, continue. You’ll end up with the florety part and a thin formerly-known-as-asparagus piece like I have in the photos. Use that for snacking or blanche or roast it for other recipes. Or cut it into coins and add it to your ribbon salad.
Recipe by Andrea Branchini