Shaved asparagus salad Picture: Deb Lindsey/ The Washington Post

It’s spring, which means spring vegetables at last. 

Of late, we’ve been dreaming about ones that are long, green and early-arriving. No, we’re not talking about ramps, the wild spring onion that has taken on cult status among the farmers’ market set.

Right now, it’s all about asparagus, the slender, juicy stalks that so many of us just love, which unfortunately we only too often tend to overlook or underplay. 

Shaved asparagus salad with pistachios and preserved lemon dressing (Serves 4)


2tbsp finely chopped preserved lemon, plus 1½tbsp preserved lemon brine 
1tsp honey
3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
450g fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed
3tbsp roasted, unsalted shelled pistachios, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped 


Whisk together the chopped preserved lemon, its brine, honey and oil in a large  mixing bowl. 

Taste and season lightly with salt, as needed (this will depend on how salty your preserved lemons are. 

Use a sharp vegetable peeler to shave each asparagus spear into long ribbons, adding them to the bowl as you work. 

If any of the asparagus tips break off while you’re doing this, just add them as well.

Use your clean hands to gently coat the asparagus with the dressing. 

Transfer to a serving platter; sprinkle with the pistachios and serve right away.

Source: cookbook author Julia Turshen

The Washington Post