So, here’s something you probably don’t know about me. I’m obsessed with cults. I once toured the Scientology mansion in DC just to get a look around and when the Texas Department of Child Services invaded that polygamist ranch, I was glued to CNN. So when this article appeared in the East Bay Express a few months ago, linking a local raw food restaurant with a cult like organization, I was totally intrigued. I still haven’t been to the restaurant yet and I’ve heard it’s very good, but I think I’d be too intrigued by watching out for cult things to care about the raw food.
If you don’t want your salad to come with a side of brainwashing, you can make your own. Now, this has parmesan cheese, which probably isn’t raw. But the asparagus is, which is unusual but totally delicious. If you are used to roasted asparagus, this tastes nothing like that. It’s fresh and mellow. The cheese adds richness and the lemon makes it tangy and bright.
Grating the asparagus was a little tricky. Don’t snap the ends off the asparagus before you grate. I made that mistake and then had nothing to grip on to when I was using the vegetable peeler to shred it. Either way, I imagine it will take a bit of time, but since it’s really the only thing you need to do, the recipe is fairly quick to throw together. The recipe makes a ton – I made about a half a pound of asparagus and adjusted accordingly, since it was just my husband and me.
Shaved Raw Asparagus with Parmesan Dressing
Recipe by Mario Batali and adapted from the April 2010 Food & Wine
2 pounds large asparagus
1 cup coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (3 ounces)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons warm water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus into long, thin strips and transfer to a large bowl.
In a small bowl, mix the Parmigiano-Reggiano with the lemon juice, water and olive oil. Add to the asparagus and toss to coat. Season the salad with salt and pepper and serve at once.