Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Shaved Asparagus with Parmigiano-Reggiano

Did you know you can eat asparagus raw?  I don't know if that necessarily means you'll want to grab a stalk and start gnawing on it, but when you shave it thinly with a vegetable peeler and toss it with a simple lemon vinaigrette, it's pretty divine.  Add parmigiano to the mix, and a bit of sea salt, and you're in business.

This recipe comes from Mario Batali's latest book, and it is a great example of the beauty of simplicity.  When you have excellent produce, you shouldn't mess with it too much.  If you can find a way to eat it raw, all the better. 

Mario includes this in the antipasti section of Molto Gusto, but I think it works great as a salad or a side dish, too.  Try it out and see what you think.  I'll bet you've never had anything quite like it.

Shaved Asparagus with Parmigiano-Reggiano
adapted from Mario Batali's Multo Gusto
serves 2-3


1 bunch medium asparagus, tough ends snapped off
1/4 cup coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon warm water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper


1.  Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus into long diagonal shavings.  It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be thin.

2.  Put the cheese in a large bowl and whisk in the lemon juice and warm water.  Whisking constantly, drizzle in the oil slowly to create a loose emulsion.  Add the asparagus and toss everything together.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.


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