May 25
2011

Shaved Asparagus Salad with Balsamic Syrup & Almonds Recipe

Shredded Asparagus Salad with Balsamic Syrup & Almonds Recipe

In the spring, we tend to eat asparagus until it feels like our skin is going to turn green. To avoid the inevitable overload, I try to dream up new ways of preparing the popular vegetable. Typically, I grill it with some olive oil, salt and pepper or steam it, as in Asparagus with Hazelnuts and Dried Cherries. Paired with a bright vinaigrette, a handful of stalks can turn into a really special side dish.

As much as I enjoy our standard asparagus preparations, a recipe that I came across last spring continued to haunt my vegetable subconscious (everyone has one of those, right?) Food & Wine Magazine featured a recipe of Shaved Raw Asparagus with Parmesan Dressing by Chef Mark Ladner of New York’s popular restaurant, Del Posto. The photo showed thin strips of asparagus presented as a salad. I was intrigued.

ShreddedAsparagusSalad1

Peeler in hand, I gently shaved strips from the stalks and tossed them with olive oil, salt and pepper to soften. Meanwhile, a saucepan of balsamic vinegar bubbled gently on the stove, reducing the dark liquid to a thick, syrupy sauce. The syrup drizzled slowly onto the bright green shavings, touching each strip with a hint of savory sweetness. Toasted almonds lent a crunch and nuttiness to finish.

Prepared in this way, the asparagus takes on a completely different texture than when it is grilled or steamed. The tender crunch of the salad is a refreshing surprise and works well as a starter course or accompaniment to the main meal. With few ingredients and simple techniques, this dish comes together very quickly.

The recipe:

For the balsamic syrup, pour the balsamic vinegar into a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Bring the vinegar to a simmer and cook, swirling occasionally, until it becomes syrupy and reduces to about 1/4 cup, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the asparagus stalks into thin strips. The easiest way to do this is to lie the asparagus flat on a cutting board and run the peeler along the length of the asparagus.

Place the asparagus strips in a medium bowl and gently toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the asparagus to soften slightly.

ShreddedAsparagusSalad2

Divide the asparagus across 4 plates and drizzle each with desired amount of balsamic syrup and sprinkle with toasted almonds. Serve immediately.

ShreddedAsparagusSalad3

Other asparagus recipes:

Cookin’ Canuck’s Asparagus with Hazelnuts & Dried Cherries
Family Fresh Cooking’s Roasted Asparagus with Gruyere & Smoked Paprika
Steamy Kitchen’s Asparagus with Fried Egg & Parmesan Cheese
Creative Culinary’s Pasta with Peas, Asparagus & Bacon

Shaved Asparagus Salad with Balsamic Syrup & Almonds

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 lb. asparagus, tough ends and tips cut off
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Generous pinch kosher salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

For the balsamic syrup, pour the balsamic vinegar into a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Bring the vinegar to a simmer and cook, swirling occasionally, until it becomes syrupy and reduces to about 1/4 cup, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the asparagus stalks into thin strips. The easiest way to do this is to lie the asparagus flat on a cutting board and run the peeler along the length of the asparagus.

Place the asparagus strips in a medium bowl and gently toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the asparagus to soften slightly.

Divide the asparagus across 4 plates and drizzle each with desired amount of balsamic syrup and sprinkle with toasted almonds. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Printable recipe

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather (Heather's Dish) May 25, 2011 at 10:39 pm

girl, i have been needing to try shaved asparagus for the LONGEST time! the best part? i have asparagus in my fridge for tomorrow’s dinner! i can’t wait to make this fabulous recipe for the hubby :)

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2 Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) May 25, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Dara this looks great.. I love the method! I do the same thing with Brussels Sprouts and shaving them thin and making raw salads w/ them.

Your photos are gorgeous, as always!

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3 Katrina May 25, 2011 at 11:05 pm

This looks lovely. I’ve never shaved asparagus before and really want to try!

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4 Jessica @ How Sweet May 26, 2011 at 4:52 am

This is such a pretty salad!

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5 Maris (In Good Taste) May 26, 2011 at 6:40 am

This is brilliant and such a pretty salad!

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6 Frank May 26, 2011 at 7:20 am

Great idea! I have some asparagus in the fridge right now. Will have to try this!

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7 Pretend Chef May 26, 2011 at 7:23 am

Asparagus is a veggie that makes me giddy! I absolutely love when it makes an appearance in a recipe or even as a side dish. This sounds amazing and looks even better. This is a great way to switch up the standard for how I prepare it. Yummy!

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8 Multiply Delicious May 26, 2011 at 8:22 am

Beautiful salad! I’m the same way when it comes to asparagus! Once it’s in season I make it all the time. It’s my very favorite veggie. What a great way to change up the preparation. I will have to try shaving asparagus soon. Sounds fabulous!

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9 Niki May 26, 2011 at 9:31 am

I have a baking subconscious but I think this will develop my veggie subconscious .

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10 torviewtoronto May 26, 2011 at 9:41 am

nice way to have asparagus delicious

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11 Drick May 26, 2011 at 11:58 am

I know what you mean, between fresh green beans and asparagus, our blood should run green…. so good to have a new recipe, I’m loving this one… Thanks Dara

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12 Kate@Diethood May 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm

That looks so good!! I eat too much asparagus, too, around this time of the year… thanks for giving me another asparagus recipe to add to my repertoire!

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13 averagebetty May 26, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I love asparagus! And this creative twist is just the right thing to get my husband to eat more of it… Thanks, Dara!

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14 Garrett May 26, 2011 at 1:23 pm

So, I’m bad in that I have never commented before, but I had everything for this at the office today. I just went and made it. Phenomenal. You did well with this. ;)

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15 The Food Hunter May 26, 2011 at 2:18 pm

What a wonderful salad.

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16 Kalynskitchen May 26, 2011 at 2:28 pm

I am loving the sound of this. I always like to nibble on the raw asparagus when I’m trimming it, so I know I’d like it.

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17 Prerna@IndianSimmer May 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm

You are a genius my friend! You are such a great recipe developer that I don’t see a Cook in a Canuck cookbook very far away :-)

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18 PolaM May 26, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I never tried to shave asparagus, but it sure looks like I should start! Looks great!

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19 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. May 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Wow what a fantastic idea!

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20 Lauren at Keep It Sweet May 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm

This is such a gorgeous salad! It sounds wonderful.

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21 Lindsey@Lindselicious May 26, 2011 at 2:51 pm

This looks so good. I have never shaved asparagus at home before, it seems like such a nice way to prepare it. Love the balsamic syrup!!

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22 Amy | She Wears Many Hats May 26, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Great idea! Gotta try it soon.

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23 Wenderly May 26, 2011 at 4:07 pm

That sounds divine. What a stunning way to prepare asparagus! I cannot wait to indulge in this delightful dish that is as much a treat for the eyes as it is the tum.

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24 Angie May 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Yum, I love it! I remember seeing a shaved asparagus pizza somewhere, never thought of a salad, great idea!

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25 Dawn May 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm

What a wonderful way to eat asparagus! I love this, will try soon :-)
-Dawn

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26 Yuri May 26, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Beautiful salad, Dara :)

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27 Tracey May 26, 2011 at 8:13 pm

So beautiful Dara! I love asparagus but have never tried it this way.

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28 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective May 26, 2011 at 9:37 pm

I love the simplicity of this elegant dish. Off to shave some asparagus! ;)

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29 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen May 27, 2011 at 3:09 am

The first time I saw a raw asparagus salad I was skeptical, but then I tried it and loved it. I can’t wait to try this version too.

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30 Sarah Fowler May 27, 2011 at 6:47 am

Sounds yummy! Tonight I’m going to shave asparagus and toss it with toasted pecans and shaved Parmesan, and drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar…

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31 Paula at Dishing The Divine May 27, 2011 at 5:31 pm

I haven’t ever tried shaved asparagus either! The only way I can get the hubby to touch it is if it’s grilled with a balsamic sauce. I must see if I can get him to try it shaved with a similar sauce. :)

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32 Erica May 28, 2011 at 8:53 am

I keep hearing about this shaved asparagus salad! (Ahem, Iron Chef.) Can’t wait to try it!

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33 Angie@Angiesrecipes May 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm

What a beautiful and creative salad idea!

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34 Maria @ Scandifoodie May 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Beautiful flavours! I will have to try this when asparagus is back in season here.

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35 Katherine May 30, 2011 at 3:18 am

I love the simplicity of this dish, perfect for warm weather! I can’t wait to try it!

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36 Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather May 31, 2011 at 6:18 am

Such a pretty recipe! A must make this summer :)

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37 Shaina May 31, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I am in love with shaved asparagus. This looks fabulous, Dara!

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38 janet June 1, 2011 at 4:33 am

I have so much asparagus in my fridge it is crazy that I have resorted just to eating it raw. I am curious what the salt does to it in the salad. I love your choice of flavours though! I made an asparagus, strawberry and basil salad with a balsamic reduction which was superb as well. :)

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39 janet @ the taste space July 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm

I finally made the salad (using mosto cotto) and thought it was great! Thanks for the inspiration.

I wrote about it here: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/asparagus-ribbon-salad-with-mosto-cotto-and-almonds/

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40 Jennifer June 1, 2011 at 11:02 pm

What a creative & beautiful dish! Love it!

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41 Lee June 2, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Wow! This is so yummy, and so simple! Thanks for a great recipe!!

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42 Marly June 3, 2011 at 9:26 pm

What a great recipe – so creative and tasty. Can’t wait to try it!

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43 Rich April 22, 2012 at 5:00 pm

There’s no mention that the asparagus is cooked in any way
so this is a raw asparagus salad????
please confirm

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44 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 23, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Hi Rich. Yes, this salad is indeed raw.

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