Recipe: Shaved Asparagus Salad
In preparation for a lecture we are giving tonight about eating in season, I started thinking about when I first learned of this concept when I was living in upstate New York. I understood why it was important but I honestly had no idea what was in season when. Since we could and did buy any type of produce we wanted year round in the grocery store, it was actually difficult for me to figure out how to put this into practice. I ate things like tomatoes, asparagus and berries in the winter and didn’t know when they actually grew fresh in the region in which I lived.
When I moved out west and started shopping at farmer’s markets and growing my own food, eating in season became second nature. Never again would I eat a hard, unripe strawberry in winter or a bunch of asparagus shipped from Argentina. Not only is this a huge waste of natural resources, but the flavor just is not at all the same. I have learned to look forward to seasons by the foods that they produce. Not only can we look forward to warmer, sunnier days but we can also get excited about fresh spring greens, crunchy cucumbers and berries so juicy they stain your hands. To celebrate the fresh new produce of the season, this salad, which comes from our Spring Greens Cooking Class, is a delicious and creative way to use one of the best of spring’s offerings: asparagus!
Shaved Asparagus Salad with Parsley-Lemon Dressing and Toasted Sunflower Seeds
1 bunch asparagus
1 large fennel bulb, sliced
1 bunch spring greens
¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons unrefined olive oil
3 tablespoons parsley
1-2 teaspoons honey
Zest of 1 lemon
Sea salt to taste
Fresh mint (optional)
In a blender combine, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, parsley, lemon zest, and sea salt. With a vegetable peeler, shave asparagus into ribbons. Toss shaved asparagus with fennel, greens, and toasted sunflower seeds and the dressing. Top with fresh strawberries and mint.