We seldom think of eating asparagus raw, but when shaved into long, thin ribbons, this spring vegetable makes a beautifully crisp and flavorful salad or side dish.
This is an occasion when you want to use fatter asparagus stalks. We like to use a vegetable peeler to cut the ribbons (it feels safer), but a mandoline also works. Sliced into thin strips, the raw asparagus is crunchy yet pliable enough to wrap around a fork.
Think of this recipe as a starting point; you could also play around with ingredients like lemon juice and zest, shallots, capers, different herbs and nuts, or a Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Ricotta, chèvre, and Pecorino cheeses are good additions, too.
1/2 pound asparagus 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar Salt Freshly ground black pepper 3 tablespoons slivered almonds 2 tablespoons tarragon leaves
Trim the bottom ends off the asparagus and, using a vegetable peeler or mandoline, slice the stalks lengthwise into very thin strips.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the asparagus ribbons and gently toss with your hands until evenly coated. Then add the almonds and tarragon leaves and gently toss to combine.
Transfer to a serving dish(es) and serve immediately.