It's always great to find a surprising new way to prepare an old favorite and even better when it's something as good as asparagus. Like brussels sprouts, asparagus' reputation has seen a big rebound in the last few decades as more people have discovered the crunchy, herbal deliciousness of some well-cooked spears. Yet despite that revival they tend to be prepared the same way over and over, even in restaurants. They are a standalone side, roasted whole, maybe topped with some parmesan or dressing. That's all well and good and tasty, but asparagus can do so much more, especially if you are willing to think outside the box in how to prepare it. And one great technique to give a shot is ribboning.
Shaved ribbons of asparagus will be just as tasty cooked, but the thinner form also makes them great for uncooked preparations where the fibrous texture of the whole vegetable normally makes chewing tough. Preparation is simple and only requires a vegetable peeler. Just cut or snap off the woody ends and then use your peeler to shave off thin ribbons, starting at the root end. You may need to place the asparagus on a flat surface to protect your fingers as it gets thinner. Depending on the thickness of the asparagus you should get three or four ribbons from each stalk. After that quick job you'll have plenty of tasty asparagus recipe options.
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Asparagus Ribbons Can Eaten Cold As A Salad Or Cooked
Maybe the best way to try asparagus ribbons is as a simple cold dish where their fresh crunch and flavor will really shine. You can add them to other salads for some extra texture, but they are also great served by themselves and simply dressed with a vinaigrette. If you want to make things a little more interesting you can add some extra texture with shaved almonds and other roasted nuts or pomegranate seeds, and bring in an umami element with crumbled feta or shaved parmesan. For an Asian take on the same prep, try a dressing of rice vinegar, sesame oil, and a dash of soy sauce with sesame seeds. Asparagus ribbons also make a great replacement for cabbage in any of your favorite slaw recipes.
If you'd prefer your asparagus cooked, your choices don't get any more limited. Shaved asparagus can be quickly pan fried in olive oil with just some salt, pepper, and lemon juice. It makes a great addition to a veggie pasta like primavera and a wonderful springtime topping for pizza too. Even breakfast can get better, as asparagus ribbons make a premium addition to a hearty quiche or frittata. Ribbon your asparagus and you'll elevate it to the starring role in your kitchen that it always deserved.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.