Target Health Blog

Asparagus Ribbon Salad with Lemon, Parmesan & Pine Nuts

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I think a well known Manhattan restaurant was the first to introduce ribbon salads; it was either, Union Square Cafe or Gramercy Tavern, I'm not completely sure, but it certainly is a sign of Spring when local asparagus turned into ribbons, start to show up on tables and menus. Let me share my adapted version with you. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

Ingredients

2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted, plus extra (toasted) for garnish

1 pound fresh, (organic) locally grown fat asparagus, rinsed  

1 lemon, halved

1.5 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Zest of 1/2 lemon

Lemon circles, for garnish

2.5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 or 2 fresh garlic clove, juiced (squeezed)

1 Tablespoon fresh chives, minced

Pinch turmeric (that comes with black pepper, already mixed in)

Pinch black mustard seeds, toasted

Pinch chili flakes

Pinch, black pepper

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

When I think of Spring, from a cooking perspective, I always think of fresh shoots of asparagus, coming up through mulched garden soil. Since, they're grown everywhere, buy your fresh ingredients, grown locally . ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

Directions

1. Rinse the chives, then chop and set aside.

Chopping chives. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

2. Toast the pine nuts and the black mustard seeds together. Keep your eye on them and stir constantly so they don't burn. You'll have to do them over if they burn. Set aside

Toast the pine nuts and black mustard seeds together; then set aside. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

‍3. Rinse the asparagus, then make the asparagus ribbons

4. To shave the asparagus lay a stalk flat on a cutting board, holding it at the base. Usually, with asparagus recipes, you snap off the tough bottom, that are too tough to eat. In this recipe, don't snap them off, so you have something to hold onto when you make the asparagus ribbons.

5. Gripping the base, at about where the pale base turns green, use a vegetable peeler to shave the stalk in long, even strips all the way through the tip. Be sure to peel the asparagus ribbon, all the way to the end of the tip. Some of your ribbons will have part or all of the tip and others won't. That's okay. The end result will be a lovely variety of ribbons.

6. The best peeler to use, is the Y-shape one. Peel again until you're about half way through the stalk, then turn over and peel the other side. When you reach the point that the peeler will no longer shave the spear, rest the spear on top of a wooden spoon (or wooden spatula) with a flat handle, to elevate the spear and take the last two or three strips. Peel all of the asparagus spears, like this.

Nice to be able to look out your kitchen window onto a garden or a backyard. However, I'm satisfied looking out onto our block with many trees, and over-looking a little church that fills the air with music - choir rehearsal. With my window open or closed, the lovely sound has a calming effect. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
This is the Y-shape peeler you should use. I got this either at Williams-Sonoma or Amazon. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

‍7. Combine asparagus shavings, toasted pine nuts and toasted black mustard seeds, in a large salad (serving) bowl, and toss gently. Save some of the nuts for garnish.

 

8. In a small bowl, place the minced chives and the garlic juice in the bottom of the bowl and cover with olive oil. Add lemon juice, zest, turmeric and pinch chili flakes, and whisk until smooth.

Easy dressing to make. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

‍9. Pour this dressing over the asparagus mixture and toss gently with salad servers, to lightly coat all of the asparagus ribbons. Toss gently. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.

Last toss; about to bring to table. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

‍10. Finally, sprinkle the salad with the freshly grated parmesan, a few extra (toasted) pine nuts and toss. Place the lemon circles around the bowl for decoration, or on individual plates. Serve immediately.

Easy to make and delicious! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
This is a healthy, truly flavorful salad. With some excellent bread and an icy white wine (or not), you really have enough for a summer lunch and or dinner. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

‍Two of the seven theater clubs we support (RoundAbout Theater and Manhattan Theater Club), started years ago with very little financing. They struggled on, in various off Broadway locations, for many years, until today each owns several Broadway theaters and, each has been nominated for many Tony Awards. Last week, at RoundAbout's American Airlines Theater, we saw some great theater in Arthur Miller's, The Price. The surprise of the year, is the emergence of Danny DeVito, giving a great memorable performance, not to be missed. His beautifully created character will knock your socks off. Although, he's made a name for himself on the screen and in other entertainment ventures, he belongs on the stage in live theater. He is a gem! Run to see this show before it closes. It has a limited engagement.

Danny DeVito in 2013; Born, Daniel Michael DeVito Jr, November 17, 1944 (ago 72)

‍Photo credit: Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons - File:Danny DeVito by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50628181

Serve your favorite, well chilled white wine with the asparagus ribbon salad. This Pouilly-Fuisse was perfect. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

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