This asparagus and pecorino salad is simplicity itself. Raw asparagus and pecorino-Romano cheese are thinly shaved into a bowl. A vinaigrette made with lemon juice, lemon marmalade, and olive oil is drizzled on top. Twenty minutes tops.
Spring asparagus has a sublimely sweet, grassy taste whose subtleties tend to be masked when subjected to heat, even the mildest forms. The stems are especially sweet and can be served to great effect when left raw, shaved, and tossed with lemon and pecorino. Save the asparagus tips for a lovely pasta, risotto, or salad of another sort. Originally published May 18, 2010.–Mario Batali
What to Serve with Vinaigrette Dressing
You’ll end up with a little extra vinaigrette. What a shame. No need to get vertigo over the situation. You may just want to make another batch of the asparagus and pecorino salad the next night, as we did. Or conjure another use for this sprightly picker-upper. (Should you find yourself in need of inspiration, consider dribbling or drizzling it over blanched sugar snaps or green beans, grilled or seared fish fillets, roast chicken or broiled fillets, or a simple salad of escarole or even frisee tossed with thinly shaved fennel. That help?)
Asparagus and Pecorino Salad
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 20 M
- Serves 6
- For the lemon vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon marmellata (er, that’s marmalade. If you really can’t find any, substitute a pinch of lemon zest)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Tuscan
- For the asparagus salad
- 1 pound asparagus, tough bottoms ends snapped off, tips trimmed and reserved for another use
- 2 to 3 ounces pecorino Romano
- 1/4 cup lemon vinaigrette
- Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- Make the lemon vinaigrette
- 1. Whisk together the lemon juice, marmellata, and olive oil together in a small bowl. You should have about 3/4 cup. (The vinaigrette can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
- Make the asparagus salad
- 2. Using a handheld mandoline or a vegetable peeler, thinly shave the asparagus, making long diagonal shavings. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- 3. Shave or thinly slice the pecorino and add it to the asparagus. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the lemon vinaigrette, season lightly with salt and pepper, and toss gently. Serve with the remaining vinaigrette on the side.