Thursday, May 12, 2016

Raw Asparagus?

Fresh, local asparagus
With fresh asparagus in hand, it was time to make some raw asparagus salad. I actually had no idea that one could eat asparagus raw until last year when I purchased it at the Farmers at Firehouse Market (that is, alas, closed as of this year) and Susan Barclay of Slow Food Pittsburgh was demonstrating a wonderful concoction that she shared via this recipe. She cautioned that raw asparagus is only tasty if it is fresh, as in picked that day or maybe the day before. So, now is your chance to eat something which you normally cannot! And, believe me, it is a treat. The taste of the raw asparagus is subtle, juicy, crispy, wonderful. The salad she made uses many of the fresh spring ingredients available: rhubarb, honey, asparagus, pea shoots, and chives, for example.

Rhubarb and I are not best friends, actually, so instead I made my own version with the spring things I purchased at the Citiparks East Liberty Farmers Market on Monday.

Raw Asparagus Salad

2 C raw asparagus chopped into coins

2 cups pea shoots, bigger stems removed, chopped a bit

1/4 cup chopped scallions (green onions), white and green parts (this was two scallions for me)

2 ounces white balsamic vinegar (1/8 cup/ 2 Tbs)
3 ounces olive oil (3 Tbs)
1/2 tsp salt (I used Kosher)
Whisk these together until the oil is emulsified

Add dressing to salad until it is coated and let sit (in refrigerator) for about one hour before serving (I did not end up using all of the dressing I had made)

Add 2 ounces goat cheese feta (or regular feta) chopped into crumbles  (This was purchased from Family Farms Creameries)

There are lots of recipes available for using asparagus, raw or cooked. What's your favorite asparagus recipe? Please share in the comments!

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