Ah, June. You seduce me with your warm breezes and sunshine sparkling on the Lake, and then I really fall for you in the bounty at the first few farmer’s markets. Tender asparagus that needs no cooking, tart rhubarb, and perhaps best of all – Michigan strawberries. It’s my favorite month of the year, and maybe it doesn’t hurt that it’s my birth month as well.
Right now, every day feels like a gift with sunshine lasting late into the evening to give me the energy to train for the half marathon and then come home and cook dinner. You can probably guess that while I’m running, I’m planning the dinner strategy as I mark the miles on foot. This weekend I’ll be tackling my first road race of the season – a 10K at the Lincoln Park Zoo. It should be a fun event (there is a zoo involved, afterall) and there’s a group of eight of us all running – and for half of us, this is our first race experience. We’re excited and maybe a little nervous too.
Last night, the result of the dinner strategy session was this simple salad, inspired by Shannalee over at Food Loves Writing. I had just a handful of asparagus in the fridge along with some arugula. I won’t lie – shaving the asparagus with a vegetable peeler took more time than I would like, but it wasn’t too bad considering that I spent most of the time munching on the asparagus tips after dipping them in the vinaigrette. Not a bad way to pass a few minutes in the kitchen. The vinaigrette has the lemony tang of a good caesar, without the luxurious egg yolk or anchovies and pairs beautifully with the delicate asparagus and arugula. Plan to toss the salad just a moment before serving – the salt in the dressing will wilt the salad pretty quickly…though the salad disappeared from our plates awfully fast anyway!
What’s your favorite way to eat asparagus? Share the love in the comments below!
Shaved Asparagus and Arugula Salad
Inspired by Food Loves Writing
Half a bunch of asparagus
2-3 handfuls of arugula
2 T lemon juice
2-3 T olive oil
pinch of salt
1 T dijon mustard
fresh ground pepper
aged gouda for garnish
- In a salad bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and mustard. Whisk with a fork to emulsify into a vinaigrette and taste, adjusting the seasoning or adding more oil as needed. Set aside. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the asparagus into long delicate fronds, holding the spears by the root end. When you’ve shredded all the asparagus, toss it into the bowl with the dressing and arugula and toss gently with tongs. Serve immediately and use the vegetable peeler to garnish the salad with a few thin curls of good aged gouda.