19 September 2011

The First Spring Asparagus

The weather may have other ideas, however the getting my hands on the first asparagus of the season signifies Spring really is here.  I adore asparagus and its arrival is always eagerly anticipated and I was excited to find so early in the season.

What to do with those first green spears?  Dipped in a soft boiled egg?  Drizzled with a little hollandaise?  Wrapped in prosciutto?  All good options but I opted for a simple salad that allows the asparagus, just as it is, to shine through.  Leaving the asparagus raw allows its fresh sweetness to step in to the spotlight.  This is a light, bright salad and perfect for Spring...now we just need the weather to play along.

Asparagus Salad with a Lemony Parmesan Vinaigrette

Serves 4


1 bunch or 16 spears of asparagus
2 tbsp Parmesan, finely grated, extra to shave a few shards
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup lemon olive oil, if you don't have lemon olive oil regular extra virgin olive oil will also work
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper


Bend the asparagus spears and they will break naturally to remove any woody bits and then with a vegetable peeler shave the spears in to long ribbons.  Place the ribbons in a medium sized bowl.  For the dressing place the Parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon olive oil and a pinch of pepper in to a small bowl.  Whisk well to combine everything together in to what will be a reasonably thick consistency.  Drizzle the vinaigrette over the asparagus and toss gently to coat.  Mound the asparagus on to a large platter or individual plates and shave over a few more shards of Parmesan.

This salad really does feel like the essence of Spring.  A sweet crunch from the asparagus all enveloped and in the vinaigrette which is bursting with a fresh lemon hit and then the deeper sharpness of the Parmesan.  It will be dinner tonight alongside a little salmon.


  1. Ah, I haven't had my first ones yet, yum!

  2. So happy you have fresh asparagus! I discovered shaving raw asparagus when it was spring here and loved it...I'd never had it raw before. A lovely way to let it shine! Although, you now have me craving a soft boiled egg and steamed asparagus to dip in it...

  3. What a cool way of treating asparagus! I can't wait to get my hands on some at the market this weekend.

  4. So jealous. Asparagus is, hands down, my favourite vegetables. Haven't had any pop up at the market down here yet, but my eyes are peeled!

  5. This is SO gorgeous, Mairi. I love asparagus (who doesn't?) and have been devouring as many spears as I can get my hands on. It's beautiful raw, too - I love the little ribbons!

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  7. Very tasty. I served this with pan fried fish last week for a deliciously simple spring dinner

  8. @Hannah Thanks Hannah, yes you can't really beat dunking asparagus in a soft boiled egg...may have to be breakfast on the weekend.

  9. @hungryandfrozen Thanks Laura, I hope you got your hands on some asparagus...I am off to restock tomorrow :)

  10. @milliemirepoix Thanks Millie, can't wait to get my hands on some more!

  11. @With Love, Mags Thanks Mags, really happy to hear you enjoyed it, thanks for stopping by :)


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