Shaved Asparagus Salad is a favorite spring salad during asparagus season. Peppery arugula, sweet thin ribbons of fresh asparagus, creamy avocado, toasted pine nuts and more tossed in a lemony vinaigrette.
This simple salad is a perfect example of the right ingredients combined making a perfect spring meal in the easiest way.
Shaved salads have become very popular. They are salads made with different vegetables shaved into thin pieces or long ribbons for asparagus. They offer a great change up from ordinary green salad and are wonderful for enjoying in season produce. The simple ingredients in this salad highlight the light sweet asparagus flavor.
Asparagus recipes are always a favorite in the spring (and maybe you are even lucky enough to find wild asparagus)! Whether you enjoy easy grilled asparagus, asparagus soup or in pasta, this will become one of your favorite salad recipes. Great for a weeknight dinner, as a side for grilled meals or a satisfying lunch.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Asparagus. You’ll need 1 pound of fresh green asparagus or one bunch asparagus (it’s sold in one pound quantities). Select green medium size stalks. Very thin stalks will not peel easily and very large asparagus spears (they can be woody with less flavor) will not have the best texture for this salad. Notes on shaving the asparagus below.
Baby arugula. One 5-ounce container will be used. It’s sold in this size at the grocery store already washed and ready to use!
Pine nuts. You’ll toast 1/4 cup of pine nuts which add a wonderful flavor to the asparagus salad.. Instructions included below.
Shaved parmesan cheese. Parmesan cheese is sold in multiple forms in the cheese area of the grocery store. Shaved parmesan is very thin pieces of cheese. It gives a nice bite of flavor with this salad. It’s sold in plastic tubs or you can use a vegetable peeler to make your own with a block of parmesan cheese.
Vegetable peeler. You’ll need a sharp vegetable peeler to shave the asparagus.
How to make Shaved Asparagus Salad
STEP 1. Make the dressing
In a small bowl combine the asparagus salad dressing ingredients: lemon juice, fresh thyme, Dijon mustard, honey, and garlic (photo 1). Whisk together.
Slowly pour in the olive oil while whisking together (photo 2). Add kosher salt and black pepper to taste.
STEP 2. Shave the asparagus
Cut or break off the woody bottom ends of the asparagus stalks. Rinse the asparagus in cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.
Using a sharp vegetable peeler, run the peeler lengthwise down the asparagus creating thin strips. It’s easiest to do this holding the asparagus on a cutting board (photo 3).
I do half the stalk, turn it over and do the other side which will have a rounded shape making it easier to peel. You can run the peeler either way down the asparagus.
Set the thin ribbons aside while making the rest of the salad. NOTE: if preferred the ribbons can be cut in half so they are not as long for easier eating.
STEP 3. Toast the pine nuts
Place the pine nuts in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the nuts are toasted. They will become fragrant and turn lightly golden-brown (photo 4). This only takes a few minutes.
Set aside and allow the nuts to cool.
STEP 4. Assemble the salad
In a large bowl add the arugula followed by the red onion. Next add the shaved asparagus followed by the avocado, parmesan cheese and pine nuts (photo 5).
Whisk the dressing one more time and add desired amount of dressing, toss to combine (photo 6). Finish with the lemon zest and some freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately!
Perking up asparagus. If you find the asparagus isn’t rigid when you are ready to peel it place the entire stalk in an ice bath (large bowl of ice water and ice). Let them sit for a few minutes before removing and patting them dry.
Use a sharp vegetable peeler. Any type of peeler can be used to shave asparagus. The most important thing is that it’s sharp!
Use extra dressing on other salads! The dressing recipe makes slightly over a half cup of dressing. This will be more than you will need unless you want a very heavy coating of dressing. Any extra dressing can be used on other salads!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! The thin raw asparagus ribbons are sweet and delicious.
How to Store
We recommend eating this salad as soon as the dressing is added. Leftovers can be stored for up to 2 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator though it will become soggy once dressing is added.
The simple lemon vinaigrette can be store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
More recipes you’ll love!
Asparagus Salad with Lemon Thyme Dressing
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
- 1 pound fresh asparagus rinsed in cold water and patted dry with paper towels (see instructions for how to shave)
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 5 ounces baby arugula rinsed and dried (a salad spinner works great for this)
- 1 small red onion peeled and thinly sliced
- ¾ cup shaved parmesan cheese
- 1 large avocado diced
- 1 large lemon zested
- Salt and pepper to season
- Combine lemon juice, thyme, mustard, honey and garlic in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while continuously whisking the lemon juice mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside while making the salad.
- Break or cut the woody ends off the asparagus. Place an asparagus spear on a cutting board and shave into thin strips using a vegetable peeler running it lengthwise down the spear. Repeat for all spears and set aside.
- Add the pine nuts to a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until they become fragrant and turn a light golden-brown (takes only a few minutes). Set aside to cool.
- Place the arugula in a larger serving bowl. Scatter onions on top. Add the prepared asparagus ribbons.
- Top the salad with the shaved parmesan, diced avocado and toasted pine nuts.
- Add desired amount of dressing and toss to combine. Top dressed salad with lemon zest and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.