When it's asparagus season, I gobble it up almost daily, with little regard for balance. Like corn, asparagus is one of those vegetables that seems to deteriorate more quickly than others, the sweetness turning starchy and the texture turning woody soon after it's snapped out of the ground. Which makes it even more imperative to eat it fresh and local, when the season is here. This year I've had it roasted, grilled, steamed, and boiled—but raw asparagus, in this salad recipe from Epicurious, is something I hadn't tried.
In this salad, it's shaved into long strips (I used a vegetable peeler) and layered with fresh greens and blanched peas in a shallot-y dressing scattered with mint leaves. Asparagus and prosciutto pair wonderfully—often with the spears wrapped in prosciutto then grilled or roasted—and it works in this salad, too. A simple, filling salad for one of these warm nights that remind us summer has just about arrived.
Note: Thawed frozen peas can be used in place of fresh. If using frozen peas, thaw and skip step 1.
Read more: Serious Entertaining: A Spring Grilling Menu
- Yield:serves 4
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:15 minutes
- 1 pound fresh peas, shelled (see note)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed
- 6 cups spring greens
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint
- 8 slices prosciutto (preferably prosciutto di Parma), cut into thin strips
- 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
Bring a small pot of salty water to boil. Cook the shelled peas in boiling water 3-4 minutes, until tender. Drain and let cool.
Meanwhile, whisk the lemon juice, shallot, and mustard in a salad bowl. Whisk in the oil in a slow stream to emulsify into a dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Lay the asparagus on a cutting board, and, holding the tip, use a vegetable peeler to shave strips lengthwise down the stalk. Reserve the tips. Toss the greens, asparagus, peas, and mint together in a large bowl with the dressing. Dress and season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with prosciutto and asparagus tips and sprinkle with Parmesan.