Lemony Asparagus Salad With Shaved Cheese and Nuts
Less is more when it comes to asparagus, especially those first tender stalks that show up in spring. Here they’re quickly steamed and turned into an elegant salad tossed with a lemony, shallot dressing, and enriched with plenty of grated Manchego or other cheese. Chopped pistachios add another shade of green to the plate along with their sweet crunch, but use any nuts you like, or skip them entirely. This tangy, bright salad doesn’t need them.
- Serves: 4 persons
- ¾cup pistachios or other nuts
- 1pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed
- ½cup plus 3 tablespoons soft herbs, such as dill, parsley and tarragon, or a combination
- 3tablespoons minced shallots, red onion or scallion
- 1 ½tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or cider vinegar)
- Large pinch of kosher salt, plus more as needed
- ¼teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- ¾cup coarsely grated cheese (1 1/2 ounces), preferably a young sheep’s milk, such as pecorino or Manchego, but any firm cheese works, plus more for serving
Step 1Heat oven to 350 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread pistachios in an even layer and toast for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle, then roughly chop.
Step 2Meanwhile, fill a large skillet with 1-inch water. Place steam basket on top, cover and bring to a simmer. Steam asparagus until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.
Step 3Finely chop 3 tablespoons mixed soft herbs. In a medium bowl, combine shallot, lemon juice, a pinch of salt and the pepper, and let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk in oil, then stir in pistachios, cheese and chopped herbs.
Step 4To serve, drizzle asparagus with oil and salt to taste. Dollop with dressing, tear remaining 1/2 cup herbs on top, and sprinkle generously with more cheese. Taste and adjust salt as needed.