This shaved spring vegetable salad is absolutely delicious and will definitely shake up your boring entree or side salad routine. You can even make this salad go even farther by incorporating baby spinach or mixed greens to make it lighter and less “noodley”.
You’ll be surprised how delicious shaved raw asparagus is, it’s quite mild and has a nice flavor to it. There’s no cooking required when you shave vegetables this thin, just like shaved or shredded beets or carrots it’s quite easy to eat.
I also added some fresh basil and red onion to kick up the flavors and am definitely going to add basil to more of my salads. It’s just wonderful! Even better if you pick it fresh from the garden. :)
I know you’re going to love this shaved asparagus salad as much as I did, so let’s check out the recipe!
Shaved Asparagus and Spring Vegetable Salad with Basil, Mandarins and Pine nuts
Serves 2 entrees or 4 side salads
1 lb asparagus
3 small/medium zucchini
1/2 red onion
2 handfuls of fresh basil (60g)
2 mandarins, peeled or sliced and sectioned
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 cups baby spinach/spring mix *optional
1 cup fresh mandarin orange juice (about 5 mandarins)
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
1/4 cup pine nuts
1-2 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
5 medium fresh basil leaves
pinch of salt
dash fresh ground pepper
Optional: toast pine nuts dry in a non stick pan over medium low heat until golden brown and set aside.
1. Hold the stem of each asparagus and lay it down on a cutting board. Shave thin ribbons of asparagus by using a vegetable peeler. (Use a sharp one! Dull ones will make this difficult.) Add tops and ribbons of asparagus to a bowl.
2. Do the same to the zucchini, lay flat on a cutting board and shave into ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Rotate zucchini to a new side once you reach the inner seeded section. Peel until all 4 sides are done. Add to bowl.
3. Slice red onion into thin slivers. Add to bowl.
4. De-stem the basil and slice into thin strips. Add to bowl.
5. Peel or slice off skin of mandarins and add mandarin sections and pine nuts to bowl.
6. Prepare dressing: combine orange juice, vinegar, pine nuts and dates in a blender and blend until smooth.
7. Pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss to combine. Refrigerate before serving if desired.
8. Serve as is, or atop baby spinach or mixed greens in bowls or plates.
If you can’t find champagne vinegar use another fruit vinegar of choice.
If asparagus is out of season, too expensive, or too time consuming to shave you can substitute more zucchini (about 3-4 more). You can use yellow and green zucchini/squash for variety.
If you can’t find pine nuts you can try pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds and toast them if desired.