This recipe and photography was provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at Ravenouskitchen.com.
You know winter is over when local asparagus shows up in the market. The season is short, so I want to eat as much of it in as many ways as I can. Inspired by Joshua McFadden in his cook book Six Seasons, this recipe also happens to be super easy. Just thinly slice the raw stalks and toss them with lemon, salty Parmesan crackers, walnuts and spicy arugula for a taste that makes you wish spring lasted all year long.
It’s that easy: Asparagus is an easy vegetable to prep. Bend one stalk of asparagus until it snaps. The lower part is fibrous and should be discarded. Line up the rest of the stalks on a cutting board and slice them in the same sweet spot, discarding the lower portion.
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Raw Asparagus Salad with Parmesan Crisps, Walnuts and Arugula
Start-to-Finish: 30 minutes
Hands-on Time: 30 minutes
Serves 6 to 8
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 2 lbs. asparagus
- Zest of two lemons
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 handfuls baby arugula
- 1/4 teaspoon salt plus more for sprinkling
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch dried chile flake
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 Heinen’s Parmesan Cheese Crisp Crackers, crumbled
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- On a large cutting board, chop the walnuts, transfer them to a baking dish and toast them in the oven until browned and fragrant, about 6 or 7 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
- Follow the directions in the It’s that easy tip above then cut the asparagus stalks into very thin slices on the diagonal or at a sharp angle (photo). Transfer them to a large bowl.
- Zest the lemons and add them to the asparagus along with the lemon juice, walnuts, cheese, arugula, salt, a few grinds of pepper, chile flake and olive oil. Toss to mix well. Taste and season with more lemon juice salt, pepper, chile flake or oil if it needs it.
- Transfer the salad to a decorative platter and garnish with the crumbled cheese crackers. Serve immediately at room temperature.
- Make ahead: Combine the dry ingredients, cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours before serving. Toss with the lemon juice and olive oil just before serving and garnish with crumbled crackers.