Crisp-tender ribbons of asparagus, spicy radishes, sweet and juicy orange slices, and creamy feta! This shaved asparagus salad is the perfect way to enjoy the bounty of fresh asparagus, which is in season right now.
I’ve mentioned before that I love asparagus and make it as often as possible during the spring season. I put it in quiche. I roast it and toss it with balsamico. I just give it a quick saute. And I am always picking up a bunch whenever I get to the farmer’s market. Because the only thing better than asparagus is fresh and local asparagus. I get most of my local asparagus from Oakdale Farms. They are my favorite source of asparagus and of rhubarb (as well as many other vegetables throughout the season), so I’m there every spring asking when the asparagus harvest is going to start.
I don’t ask too often, but at the end of April I check in a see how the planting is going. I’m subtle. Very subtle. 🙂 And by mid-May I’m showing up at the market when they open to make sure I can snag a bunch or two before they are gone. Luckily the local market starts at a reasonable hour. I am not a morning person (Full disclosure: That’s putting it mildly.), so I do appreciate that the market opens at 10:00am. This is very helpful when I’m trying to get some asparagus!
In addition to quiches and roasted asparagus and the like, I also enjoy making asparagus salad! I usually just blanch and chop up the the asparagus and toss it into a green salad, but I wanted to make an asparagus salad where the asparagus was the star and I think this shaved asparagus salad does the trick. 🙂 In this case the flavors of the oranges and the radishes support the asparagus and add their own flavors while allowing the asparagus to keep center stage.
The thin ribbons of asparagus don’t even need to be cooked. A quick toss in the dressing flavors them and then it’s time to put them on your plate.
One note: this is not a salad that keeps. At all. Once you’ve put it together and added the dressing, it’s time to sit down and have dinner. If everyone else isn’t ready to sit down and have dinner, they lose and won’t get that first, bright, beautiful flavor this salad has when it is fresh. However, you won’t lose since you’ll be sitting at the table enjoying the salad.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
- 1 bunch thick stemmed asparagus
- 3 navel oranges, peels cut off
- 2 medium radishes
- 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp minced shallot
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- For the asparagus: Cut off the tips of the asparagus. Put out a bowl of ice water. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the asparagus tips for 2 minutes and then drain and transfer the asparagus tips to the bowl of ice water. While you are waiting for the water to boil, shave the asparagus stems with a vegetable peeler. For each stalk, hold onto the part of stem you would usually cut off and peel away from your hand up the stalk, making asparagus ribbons. When you have a fairly thin piece of stalk left, discard the remains of the stalk. That last piece of stalk is going to be too thick for the salad. Add the asparagus ribbons to the ice water with the tips. This will keep them crisp until you are ready to eat.
- Cut the oranges into wedges or into slices crosswise through the orange, or a combination of both. Thinly slice the radishes.
- Add all dressing ingredients to the serving bowl and whisk briskly until smooth. Add the asparagus ribbons and tips, orange slices, and radish slices. Toss together to combine and coat vegetables with dressing. Then sprinkle the feta over the top and serve.
I'm calling for navel oranges since they are the most common oranges around here. The salad is especially pretty to look at if you can find some Cara Cara oranges and/or some blood oranges to use along with the navel oranges.
Do not toss the asparagus with the dressing until just before serving. The asparagus will maintain its crisp-tender texture for only a short while once it's mixed with the dressing.