By Joan MacIsaac Serves 6 salad portions
Note: Use the freshest asparagus for this raw salad preparation.
1 bunch of asparagus 1 shallot finely diced 3 Tbsp lemon juice 1 1/2 Tbsp sherry vinegar 1/2 tsp sugar 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper 8-10 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil Salt to taste Parmesan Reggiano
Combine the shallot, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, sugar, and cracked black pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the extra virgin olive oil and season with salt to taste. Set the vinaigrette aside for 15-20 minutes to let the flavors blend.
Use a vegetable peeler to shave ribbons of the Parmesan. You should get about 2 ounces or 1 cup in the end. Set aside.
In the meantime trim the woody stems off the asparagus and cut the remainder of the stalk into 2 inch pieces. Using a mandolin or Chinese mandolin, carefully slice the asparagus pieces lengthwise as thin as possible. The asparagus should be coming out in ribbon-like pieces about 1/8 inch thick. Work with one piece at a time and use the guard as needed. Set the shaved asparagus aside.
Toss the asparagus in a bowl with just enough dressing to coat it liberally. Let this sit for 15-20 minutes so the asparagus macerates in the dressing. Just before serving sprinkle half of the shaved Parmesan over the asparagus and toss gently. Serve on individual plates sprinkled with the remaining shaved Parmesan.