Raw asparagus salad makes the most of one of springtime’s most treasured delicacies. Tender ribbons of shaved raw asparagus are served on top of lemony yogurt and herbs, then topped with Parmesan and pine nuts. Simple, fresh, and the best way to celebrate the first stalks of spring.
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
CAN I MAKE RAW ASPARAGUS SALAD IN ADVANCE?
With a salad 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 as springtime fresh, but will still taste amazing.
Raw Asparagus Salad
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
- 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
Make the lemon herb yogurt
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.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
If you're a fan of asparagus, this raw asparagus salad is certain to become a favorite. It's a simple, 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 simple, basic salad, is actually a surprising combination of flavor and texture. I served this for a luncheon with grilled chicken and roasted vegetables.
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 again.
The asparagus I purchased was quite thin - a bit too thin to peel into strips. (I almost cut my fingers a few times.) I decided to cut it up into a few shapes, to bring different textures. I cut the tips off, cut one-third of the base stems into quarter to half-inch pieces, then the rest of the stalk into one-and-a-half-inch pieces on the bias. Nothing like a little variety!
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 will 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, burger, with a cracker, or directly out of the container as a snack on its own!)
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.
Originally published May 16, 2021