While I generally cook asparagus, it can be good raw too. For this salad I shaved the asparagus spears with a vegetable peeler, very carefully from about an inch from the cut end up to the tip. I got about 5 or 6 shavings per spear. Since I was shaving the asparagus, I decided to shave several other ingredients into the salad, specifically fennel and apple.
Spring Asparagus Shaved Salad
1/4 cup walnuts
3/4 lb. raw asparagus, shaved with a peeler (see discussion above)
1 fennel bulb, shaved with a peeler, fronds reserved
1 apple, shaved with a peeler
2 cups baby arugula
1/2 tsp. fennel pollen
3 oz. soft goat cheese (chèvre)
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
1. Heat a small frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the walnuts and toast until fragrant, being careful not to burn them, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
2. Combine asparagus, fennel, apple and arugula in a large bowl. Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Toss dressing with salad to combine. Serve in bowls topped with a sprinkle of fennel pollen and a few pieces of goat cheese.