Shaved Asparagus Salad with
Sriracha-Lemon Vinaigrette
and Pecorino Romano

This cold salad is brightened by the tang of lemon and cheese
and the hot, garlic flavor of Sriracha.

5.00
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Serves: 4 • Prep Time: N/A • Cook Time: N/A

Straight from the Forq Kitchen!
by Jacob Dean


Shaved Asparagus Salad with Sriracha-Lemon Vinaigrette
and Pecorino Romano

Summer time brings with it a welcome change in diet. Sure, it’s the time of year when people are most likely to grill up hot dogs, burgers, and steaks, but it’s also the time when salad can reign supreme. Hot weather means that cold, fresh dishes can be particularly restorative, and it’s nice to have a meal where you still feel light and energetic afterwards.

As I’ve written about in other Forq recipes, this time of year also means the emergence of young, tender asparagus. Asparagus is one of those vegetables that I typically eat maybe once or twice per year, and not because I don’t like it, but because I’m usually not sure what to do with it. I think it’s common to get used to preparing things a certain way and then not branching out, and for me asparagus typically calls out for roasting simply with olive oil, salt, and pepper. It’s easy to forget that asparagus is not only delicious when eaten raw, but incredibly simple. What could be better than a vegetable that doesn’t actually need to be cooked on the stove?

Asparagus is not only delicious when eaten raw, but incredibly simple.

This recipe uses a handheld vegetable peeler in order to reduce individual asparagus stalks into strips. It’s a preparation introduced to me years ago by an ex-girlfriend from college who went on to become a chef in Australia. At the time she had taken summer squashes and cut them into ribbons, which she then gently sautéed in olive oil. It was a nice presentation and used vegetables to simulate pasta. Young , thin asparagus doesn’t have the fibrousness of older, thicker stalks, and also peels nicely into tender ribbons, which you don’t even need to cook.

As for the vinaigrette, recipes actually do exist out there for shaved asparagus with dressing. Most of these recipes are remarkably similar to each other (if not basically identical), and call for pairing the asparagus strips with a light dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and parmesan. For my own dressing I wanted to kick things up a bit. Rather than parmesan I opted for pecorino romano, a less sophisticated cheese that has a salty bite that I’m basically in love with. I also used Sriracha in my vinaigrette, which pairs well with the pecorino cheese and lemon juice.

*Note: if you’re going to use Sriracha, use the original U.S. brand manufactured by Huy Fong foods. There’s a wonderful documentary about Sriracha that’s up on Netflix that I highly recommend, and for years they existed in a vacuum until other companies started making knockoffs (I’m looking at you Trader Joe’s). Buy the original, it’s just better.

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First, wash your asparagus and trim the woody ends. Next, use a handheld peeler to peel the asparagus stalks, one at a time, into thin strips. The asparagus will be harder and harder to peel as you reach the center, so don’t worry if the very last strip is a little thicker than the others. Also, the head of the asparagus may snap off, so if this happens just toss them in with the strips (they’re still delicious). Make sure to put all of the asparagus strips into a large bowl, as we’ll be using this bowl later to mix everything together.

After the asparagus is all peeled, in a small bowl combine the pecorino cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, Sriracha, water, and kosher salt. Mix well with a whisk to combine and then pour the dressing over the asparagus strips in your large bowl. Mix everything together until the asparagus is evenly coated and serve immediately. If you want to prepare things ahead of time, store the dressing and the shaved asparagus separately.

Directions

Here’s how to make this delicious recipe

Using a handheld vegetable peeler, peel the asparagus one stalk at a time into as many strips as possible, and place the asparagus into a large bowl. It is likely the heads of the stalks will snap off, and if so add these to the bowl of asparagus strips.

Shaved_Asparagus_4

Using a handheld vegetable peeler, peel the asparagus

In a small bowl combine pecorino romano cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, Sriracha, water, and kosher salt. Whisk together until incorporated.

Add the dressing to the large bowl filled with asparagus and mix together until the asparagus is evenly coated. Serve immediately. If making ahead of time, store the dressing and the asparagus strips separately in air-tight containers.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound asparagus woody ends trimmed
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha (Huy Fong brand)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

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Who’s Cooking Today

Jacob Dean

Jacob Dean is a freelance food and travel writer, recipe tester, and culinary product reviewer based in Washington, D.C. He is a regular contributor to The Cook’s Cook Magazine, DCist, Industree, has freelanced as a recipe tester for the New York Times, and has been published by the Washington Post. Jacob has tried over twelve hundred unique beers (he keeps count).
You can find him online at jacobdeanwrites.com, on Twitter as @SchadenJake, and on Facebook as Jacob Dean Writes.

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