Thursday, April 19, 2012
Asparagus and Carrot Ribbon Salad for a Spring Evening
Asparagus tastes of spring – it’s just so green! I’m still celebrating its arrival and am always excited to share new ways to enjoy these elegant stalks.
Last spring I discovered peeling fresh asparagus into ribbons. In the past, I had steamed, roasted or grilled asparagus but had never used it uncooked. When I saw the pretty ribbons you can create, I was hooked and began creating new salads with it.
This salad combines fresh herbs, carrots and olives - some of my favorite ingredients! A bit of feta would be welcome, too. It’s a quick, colorful salad to pull together, especially on a busy spring evening when you’ve just come home from a track and field meet.
Fresh asparagus (preferably fat stalks) and a vegetable peeler are all you need for the ribbons. Lay a stalk flat on a cutting board, hold it securely at the bottom and, starting with the end you are holding, use your vegetable peeler to shave layers off until only a thin strip is left. After you admire your beautiful pile of asparagus, dig around in your crisper drawer and have fun!
Asparagus and Carrot Ribbon Salad
1 pound fresh asparagus, thick stalks
2 large carrots
1/3 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in half
1/2 small red onion, cut in half and sliced into half- moon slivers
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chile pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Lay a stalk of asparagus on a cutting board. Starting at one end, use a vegetable peeler to peel off long ribbons of asparagus. Continue until all the stalks have been “ribboned”. Peel the carrots in the same way so that you have long ribbons. If the ribbons are quite long, you can cut them in half to make eating easier.
Combine the fresh herbs in a large serving bowl. Add the olives, red onion, asparagus and carrots.
In a small bowl, stir together the agave nectar, red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic and crushed red chile pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently. The salad and dressing can be prepared a couple hours ahead and tossed together just before serving.