Shaved Asparagus Salad

Moms have a way of knowing exactly what you need.  It's a sixth sense that benefits us children quite well.  Case in point: my mom must have known that I had been craving asparagus all last week when she sent a big bunch of it along with my brother when we met for dinner on Thursday night.

The arrival of this spring treat has been much anticipated.  It's one of my favorite spring vegetables; the flavor is so fresh and so welcome after months of a straight-from-the-garden produce void.  Each spring I look forward to the announcement from my mom that they have asparagus to share if we're interested.  Trust me, there's no "ifs" about it; I'm interested!
I had a chance to check out my parents' asparagus patch first hand this past weekend.  My niece and I went for a little walk around the farm and examined, among other interesting things, all the little purple tips popping up in the asparagus patch.  I think she might need a little more time to fully develop her taste for it though, as she tried to tell me that it was poisonous (in fairness, there was probably a time in my life where I shared that same opinion).  Time will tell if my insistence that it is in fact very yummy and good for you has any impact, but she did think they were pretty cool little plants and exclaimed, "Hey, there's another one!" every time she found another spear poking through the ground.
Meanwhile, back at home, the feasting has begun in full force: crispy oven roasted asparagus, steamed asparagus, and yes, even raw asparagus, shaved into delicate thin ribbons and tossed into the simplest (and most delicious) salad I've ever made.  

My obsession with asparagus ribbons began last spring, when I discovered that they make a phenomenal pizza topping and a fantastic addition to a garden salad. There's just something about them that really like (and they're perfect for using up those fat spears), so when I first saw a recipe for an asparagus ribbon salad, I knew it was going to be one of the first new recipes I would try this spring.  The simplicity of this recipe is what makes it so good.  The asparagus and lemon juice make for a bright and fresh flavor.  It really hit the spot last night after working feverishly to mow the lawn before the storm rolled in.  
Shaved Asparagus Salad
Asparagus Spears (about 3-5 spears per serving, depending on size)
Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Lemon Juice
Olive Oil
Pepper and Salt

Wash and trim asparagus spears and cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler.  Quarter the remaining tips lengthwise and add to the salad.  Toss asparagus with parmesan cheese, to taste.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and lemon juice and top with a little salt and pepper, to taste. 

Recipe adapted from Kitchen Daily, Huffington Post

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