Raw Asparagus Salad
This summer, keep things light and fresh with this Raw Asparagus Salad! Perfect as a side dish, appetizer, or even as a light lunch, this easy to make salad is ideal for enjoying on the days that are so hot, you just don’t want to preheat an oven or warm up your stove top.
Raw Asparagus Salad
I don’t know if there’s a bad way to enjoy asparagus! I love it when it’s prepared on the stove top, baked in the oven, or even grilled on the back porch. With that all being said, I think raw asparagus is greatly underappreciated, and makes for one seriously delicious side dish! This quick and easy recipe combines the natural crunch and flavor of fresh asparagus with walnuts and parmesan cheese.
That’s not all, though! Besides the key components of the salad itself, the dressing is what really has you coming back for more bite after bite. Freshly squeezed lemon juice and tangy zest is combined with ingredients like garlic and red pepper flakes to create a mouthwatering flavor palate that keeps this otherwise simple salad pretty bold! Once you try this Raw Asparagus Salad, you’ll realize that you don’t have to cook asparagus to make it delicious.
Besides the exciting flavors from the dressing and parmesan cheese, the textures in this salad are also pretty scrumptious. I love the natural crunch of the raw, fresh asparagus combined with the even crunchier toasted walnuts! I never really feel full from things like smoothies, no matter how protein packed they may be. I need something crunchy that I can chew on to tell my brain I’m filling up! That’s why this salad is ideal for summertime – it’s light and refreshing, but still really hits the spot.
How to Make It
Toast the walnuts. Add walnuts to a large skillet over medium-low heat. Toss occasionally for 5-10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad, until toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat. Allow to cool while you make the salad.
Prepare the asparagus. Remove the woody ends from the asparagus. Cut the asparagus into thin slices at a sharp angle. Add to a large salad bowl.
Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
Toss the asparagus in the dressing. Pour dressing over the asparagus. Toss to coat.
Chill. Chill for an hour to combine flavors.
Chop the walnuts. Chop walnuts on a cutting board roughly.
Assemble, and enjoy! Sprinkle walnuts and grated parmesan over the salad, then serve immediately.
Tips for the Best Raw Asparagus Salad
- Cutting the asparagus into slim slices can take time, but the asparagus will absorb the flavors and be tastier this way. Try to cut them all to the same size and shape, so each bite is the same.
- Don’t skip the chilling step! The flavors will really begin to combine well and soak into the asparagus.
- Feel free to play around with certain ingredients in the dressing. Depending on your spice preference, you can add more or less crushed red pepper flakes. Also, feel free to measure the garlic with your heart! Just keep in mind that garlic can be a little overpowering if there’s too much in there.
- Use a good quality olive oil! It’s a key ingredient in the dressing, so make sure it tastes good by using a good quality bottle.
- When it comes to parmesan cheese, don’t cheat yourself out of the BEST flavor by using a bag of pre-shredded cheese! It may take an extra few minutes, but freshly grated cheese always yields the best results.
There are SO many ways to enjoy asparagus! Here are just a few of my favorite recipes for this nutritious veggie.
- Grilled Asparagus in Foil
- Steamed Asparagus with Lemon
- Garlic Parmesan Baked Asparagus
- Cream of Asparagus Soup
Get the Recipe: Raw Asparagus Salad
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 lb asparagus tough ends trimmed
- ½ cup Parmesan, grated
For the Dressing:
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- Add walnuts to a large skillet over medium-low heat. Toss occasionally for 5-10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad, until toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat. Allow to cool while you make the salad.
- Remove the woody ends from the asparagus. Cut the asparagus into thin slices at a sharp angle. Add to a large salad bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Pour dressing over the asparagus. Toss to coat.
- Chill for an hour to combine flavors.
- Chop walnuts on a cutting board roughly.
- Sprinkle walnuts and grated parmesan over salad.