Saturday, January 1, 2011

SHAVED ASPARAGUS SALAD (adapted from Jonathan Waxman)

You can prepare the hazelnuts, asparagus, and cheese the night before. Variation: substitute zucchini or brussel sprouts for the asparagus.

¼ C. hazelnuts
1 lb. asparagus (thicker spears are better)
Juice of one lemon
¼ C. soft extra-virgin olive oil (Spanish is good)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 T. grated parmesan
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Toast the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet for 5-8 minutes. Cool, and then roll the nuts together in your hands to get off most of the skin. Crush them in a plastic bag, using the flat side of a chef’s knife or a rolling pin.

Snap the asparagus spears at their base; discard the tough ends. Using a vegetable peeler and/or a sharp paring knife, shave the spears lengthwise into long, thin slices.  Put them in the container you intend to serve from.

Mix the lemon juice and olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

Right before serving, toss the dressing with the asparagus and hazelnuts; top with a dusting of parmesan.  Yield:  3-4 servings, depending on the size of the asparagus spears.

Wines: dry whites, light reds, fuller-bodied reds
Compliments cured meats, cheeses

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