This delicate salad uses shaved asparagus spears that are tossed in a lemon vinaigrette and topped with dollops of ricotta and toasted pistachios.
My typical asparagus strategy consists of finding the thinnest spears possible, roasting them in a hot oven and topping them with a balsamic, soy butter sauce. I’m doing a solid 180 today and going for something totally different. This salad starts with thick spears of asparagus that are shaved thinly using a vegetable peeler. They’re left raw and dressed with a light lemon vinaigrette, then gussied up with dollops of creamy ricotta cheese and a sprinkling of toasted pistachios. I’m in LOVE with the flavors of this dish. So light and delicate, it makes a great match for many dishes, such as this Easy Roasted Chicken or Spaghetti with Toasted Bread Crumbs.
Here’s a tip for keeping your asparagus fresh – When you get home from the store, trim the ends of your asparagus by about an inch. Fill a wide mouth glass vase or container with about 2 inches of cold water and insert the asparagus. Take a clean plastic bag (such as a produce bag or large Ziploc bag and fit it over the asparagus and container. Place the vase in your refrigerator and enjoy the lovely fridge bouquet that you have made 😉 Your asparagus should stay fresh and crisp for about a week stored in this manner. If the water starts to get a bit cloudy, empty your container and add fresh water. This tip also works well for fresh herbs, just use a narrow vase in this case.
And now… for some exciting news … drumroll… This is my 100th recipe post on Platings and Pairings! It’s been a journey these past six months – From my very first post to this post today, I’ve got to say that my photography skills have much improved – Lend that to my new camera and all of the helpful tips that I have learned from Lindsay at Food Blogger Pro – It’s almost embarrassing to take a peek back at those old posts (here, here and here) but it really does show how far I have come. Plus, even though the pics may not have been the greatest, those crockpot chicken taco wraps were pretty darn good! I’d love to hear from all of you on what you’d like to see more of (or less of) and what you’re liking (and disliking).
Shaved Asparagus Salad with Ricotta and Pistachios
- Finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
- 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup pistachios
- 1 pound thick asparagus spears tough bottoms removed, tips reserved for another use
- 1/2 cup fresh ricotta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Toast the pistachios in a medium frying pan over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove to a small bowl to cool.
Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, shallot, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a large bowl, whisk well to combine.
Using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the asparagus lengthwise into strips and place in the bowl with the dressing. (If you have trouble peeling the final portion of the asparagus spear, I find it helps to set it on the side of a cutting board. This will raise it just high enough to allow the peeler to move freely.) Using your hands, toss the asparagus with the dressing and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Chop the toasted pistachios and sprinkle over the salad. Top with dollops of ricotta and additional lemon zest, if desired. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
Don’t be afraid to mix this one up a bit – Add pine nuts instead of pistachios, feta instead of ricotta, etc. Use whatever you have on hand – It’s a great use for leftover bits of cheese and the end of that bag of nuts!
- I paired this salad with a dry Rosé from Stoller Vineyards (other affordable options here). It would also be great with the grassy/herbal notes of a Sauvignon Blanc or a the mineral yumminess of a Pinot Gris.