I love salads to be filled with lots of vegetables rather than lots of lettuce. I add frisée to this one for its sharp flavor, but otherwise, I stick to beautiful, robust green vegetables. The asparagus — bright green and sweet — will stand out, complemented by the yogurt’s creaminess, the Parmesan’s saltiness, and the pine nut’s crunchiness.Lynn Crawford

david caricature

Why Our Testers Loved This

Our testers raved about this shaved asparagus salad. The crispiness of the shaved asparagus and the pleasant contrast of the tangy herb yogurt had MaryBeth Jirgal exclaiming that she will “be making this fresh, delicious raw asparagus salad all spring.”

Joan Hunter Mayer declares this asparagus salad “a whole new level of deliciousness!” We certainly agree.

What You’ll Need to Make This

Ingredients for a raw asparagus salad: asparagus, olive oil, thyme, arugula, lemon, parsley, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, yogurt, chives.
  • Asparagus–For a salad with crunch and texture, look for bright green asparagus stalks that are firm and with closed tips. Thicker asparagus stalks will be easier to shave.
  • Lemon–Since you will need both lemon juice and zest, we recommend using an organic lemon.
  • Greek yogurt--For best results, use full-fat Greek yogurt. We love it for its thick, creamy texture and added tang.
  • Pine nuts–These nuts add an extra texture to the salad, and their nutty flavor is a welcome contrast to the vegetables. NOTE: Pine nuts are prone to spoilage and should be stored in the fridge and checked before use. If they have a bitter flavor or a strong chemical smell, toss them out and buy fresh ones.

How to Make This Recipe

Ingredients for a Greek yogurt dressing in a blender and a person shaving asparagus spears into a bowl.
  1. Combine the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, zest, thyme, parsley, and chives in a blender. Blitz until smooth and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the asparagus into thin ribbons.
Arugula being added to a bowl of shaved asparagus and a person pouring olive oil into the bowl of salad.
  1. Combine the asparagus and greens in a large bowl.
  2. Pour in the oil and lemon juice and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Dollop some of the yogurt mixture onto a chilled plate, then top with the asparagus and greens. Finish with Parmesan, pine nuts, and chives.

Common Questions

How do you peel asparagus?

Start by washing the asparagus and then cutting or snapping off the tough ends. Working with one stalk at a time, lay a stalk flat on a cutting board. Hold the base of the stalk firmly, and then using a vegetable peeler, thinly peel it away from you. Rotate the stalk as you peel for even ribbons.

What should I serve this salad with?

The testers enjoyed this fresh spring salad with grilled chicken skewers, but it would also pair well with buttery baked fish, or it could be served on its’ own for a light lunch.

Can I make this salad in advance?

With a spring salad recipe this simple and fresh, you’re probably going to want to make it right before eating. If you’re really looking to get ahead of the dinnertime rush, you can juice the lemon and make the dressing. Trim your asparagus but save the shaving until right before serving.

The good news—the Greek yogurt mixture can be made ahead, and the flavors will mellow and meld. Just be aware that the herbs won’t look springtime-fresh but will still taste amazing.

Helpful Tips

  • To toast the pine nuts, cook them in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until they’re golden brown. Keep an eye on them, as they can burn quickly.
  • Shave the asparagus just before preparing the salad, so it’s bright and crisp when it is served.
  • The dressing may be prepared up to a day ahead to save time.
  • The lemon-herb yogurt easily doubles as a dip for fresh vegetables or can be spread on a grilled vegetable wrap or sandwich.
A tangle of raw asparagus salad, pine nuts, and frisee on top of a green dressing.
: Virginia Macdonald

More great asparagus salad recipes

Write a Review

If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

A plate of raw asparagus salad with a jar of dressing and a bowl of pine nuts, and a glass of white wine on the side.

Raw Asparagus Salad

5 / 4 votes
This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy asparagus when it’s at the peak of its season—raw and simply dressed in this fresh and easy salad.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories169 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Total Time20 minutes


For the lemon herb yogurt

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, preferably full fat
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, preferably organic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the raw asparagus salad

  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 4 cups (5 oz) frisée leaves or other peppery green, such as arugula
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

To serve

  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives


Make the lemon herb yogurt

  • In a blender, combine yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, thyme, parsley, and chives and blitz until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Prepare the raw asparagus salad

  • Using a vegetable peeler, shave asparagus spears lengthwise into thin ribbons. Place in a large bowl and add frisée, olive oil, and lemon juice. Toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Spoon the lemon herb yogurt onto a chilled serving dish. Top with asparagus-frisée mixture, then sprinkle over the Parmesan, pine nuts, and chives.


    1. Toasting pine nuts–To toast the pine nuts, cook them in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until they’re golden brown. Keep an eye on them, as they can burn quickly.
    2. Keeping asparagus crisp–Shave the asparagus just before preparing the salad so it is bright and crisp when it is served.
    3. Get ahead–The dressing may be prepared up to a day ahead to save time.
    4. Extra yogurt dressing–The lemon-herb yogurt easily doubles as a dip for fresh vegetables or can be spread on a grilled vegetable wrap or sandwich.
Farm to Chef Cookbook

Adapted From

Farm to Chef

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 169 kcalCarbohydrates: 9 gProtein: 9 gFat: 12 gSaturated Fat: 2 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 6 mgSodium: 119 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 4 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2017 Lynn Crawford. Photos © 2017 Angie Zoobkoff. Photo © 2017 Virginia Macdonald. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Fresh ingredients that are easy to find and put together are ideal for any tasty recipe. This bright, fragrant, and flavorful salad was just that. The delicate spring asparagus is the perfect partner for peppery arugula (I didn’t have frisée).

Mixed with crunchy pine nuts, salty cheese, and a simple lemon and oil dressing is quite lovely all on its own. But, nestled snuggly in a layer of creamy and tangy herb yogurt brings it to a whole new level of deliciousness! I will for sure be making this raw asparagus salad recipe again.

I also knew I’d want to serve this for a few meals during the week, so I didn’t want to dress everything together. I dressed the asparagus and placed that into one container, keeping the arugula separate, with no dressing. I also kept the yogurt sauce separate. For future meals, I’ll just toss some arugula (or other bitter lettuce) with the asparagus, nuts, and cheese, then place over a layer of the sauce.

I would want to double the amount of yogurt sauce, so I’ll do that again should I make it for more than two people. (The sauce is so good–it’d be great on a sandwich, wrap, your favorite burger, with crackers, or directly out of the container as a snack on its own!)

If you’re a fan of asparagus, this raw asparagus salad is certain to become a favorite. It’s a fresh salad that goes beyond simple mixed greens and would make a great addition to any meal. The only real effort needed is slicing the asparagus, so it can be put together quickly.

I used arugula for the peppery greens, which worked well with the mild flavor of the asparagus. The toasted pine nuts and shaved parmesan add a nice texture. The delicious lemon-herb yogurt adds a nice tangy element to the otherwise simply dressed greens.

What appears to be a basic salad is actually a surprising combination of flavor and texture. I served this for a luncheon with grilled roasted chicken and roasted vegetables.

We picked up the ingredients at the first farmer’s market of the season. We couldn’t find frisée and substituted microgreens. After shaving the asparagus stalks, I added the tips to the bowl.

It did take some time (about 25 minutes) to chop and prep all the ingredients, but we’ll be making this fresh, delicious raw asparagus salad all spring.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

Hungry For More?

Egg Salad Without Mayo

Don’t let those leftover Easter eggs go to waste. This easy egg salad with caramelized onions is so lovely, you won’t even notice that there’s no mayo.

45 mins

Apple and Celery Salad

A simple and elegant salad that brightens up whatever you serve it alongside. Crisp, tangy, and refreshing, it’s a perfect accompaniment.

15 mins

Tangy Apple Slaw

This sweet and tangy apple slaw, made with crunchy cabbage and tart apples, is going to be a cookout staple all summer long.

20 mins

5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating