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I’m a big fan of good, crunchy veggies, so if I can’t eat broccoli, I want asparagus! Until recently, I resigned myself to eating asparagus roasted or sauteed or grilled, but then I found this fantastic recipe for an asparagus salad. The flavors are amazingly bright and if you didn’t make it, you may not even know it’s asparagus. This is an absolute do-ahead — SO easy — and will make a fantastic side dish this spring and summer, so give it a try!

Click here to download the recipe sheet: Asparagus Salad

Total Time: 10 min (1 hr or more, inactive) Serves: 6-8


  • 1 bunch of pencil-thin asparagus (approx 1 lb.)
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino (or Parmesan) cheese
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste


Begin by cutting the rough ends off of the asparagus. Although you could take the time to break each stalk by hand, when dealing with pencil-thin asparagus, I prefer to just hack off the ends all at once. There is no perfect way to tell how much to cut off, so just go high enough to cut off most of the white bits at the bottom of the stalks (they’re way too tough to eat, especially raw).

Then take the remaining tops and slice them very thinly, creating little asparagus disks.

Place the asparagus disks in a medium size mixing bowl and set aside. Now it’s time to chop the onion. Let’s talk about finely chopping onions. You can do it one of two ways: fast or slow. To finely dice an onion slowly, cut it in any which way that you’d like (and prepare to spend a lot of time getting them to be close to uniform in size). OR, to chop it quickly, follow these steps. I promise, you won’t dice an onion another way again:

First, begin by taking the top off the onion (NOT the root!).

Next, turn the onion top down and cut it in half, straight through the root.

Then peel the outer layer of each half off, preserving the root at the end of each.

Next, place each half flat on the board and slice straight down on each, but be sure NOT to cut through the root end. The half should remain intact, just with thin slices through most of it.

Now is the only tricky part. Place your free hand (whichever isn’t holding your knife) on top of the onion and press down with your fingers UP! Very carefully, slice from top to root, about a 1/4 inch from the board, and then once more about 1/2 inch from the board.

Now your onion is prepped and ready to be diced! Slice down from top to root to create a beautiful dice.

Add the grated Pecorino and diced red onion to the asparagus.

Dress with the vinegar and oil and toss, then season with salt to taste.

Allow the salad to sit for at least an hour so the vinegar can tenderize the asparagus and the flavors can marry. This salad can definitely be made a day ahead and it will taste just as good!

CLICK HERE to download the recipe sheet.