Shaved Asparagus and Spring Vegetable Salad With Basil, Mandarins and Pine nuts

by on June 23, 2013


I have to tell you… I am totally loving my new (but used) camera I just got! As you can see, I have some more delicious photos  to share with you. This is a shaved asparagus salad I’ve been wanting to try for a while and I just happened to have asparagus in the fridge this week so I was very excited! I’ve had many many raw dishes using shaved or spiralized zucchini (summer squash) and the asparagus can be shaved with a vegetable peeler in the same way.

This shaved spring vegetable salad is absolutely delicious and will definitely shake up your boring entree or side salad routine. You can even make this salad go even farther by incorporating baby spinach or mixed greens to make it lighter and less “noodley”.

You’ll be surprised how delicious shaved raw asparagus is, it’s quite mild and has a nice flavor to it. There’s no cooking required when you shave vegetables this thin, just like shaved or shredded beets or carrots it’s quite easy to eat.

I also added some fresh basil and red onion to kick up the flavors and am definitely going to add basil to more of my salads. It’s just wonderful! Even better if you pick it fresh from the garden. 🙂

I know you’re going to love this shaved asparagus salad as much as I did, so let’s check out the recipe!

Shaved Asparagus and Spring Vegetable Salad with Basil, Mandarins and Pine nuts

Serves 2 entrees or 4 side salads

Ingredients:

1 lb asparagus
3 small/medium zucchini
1/2 red onion
2 handfuls of fresh basil (60g)
2 mandarins, peeled or sliced and sectioned
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 cups baby spinach/spring mix *optional

Dressing:
1 cup fresh mandarin orange juice (about 5 mandarins)
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
1/4 cup pine nuts
1-2 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
5 medium fresh basil leaves
pinch of salt
dash fresh ground pepper

Directions:

Optional: toast pine nuts dry in a non stick pan over medium low heat until golden brown and set aside.

1. Hold the stem of each asparagus and lay it down on a cutting board. Shave thin ribbons of asparagus by using a vegetable peeler. (Use a sharp one! Dull ones will make this difficult.) Add tops and ribbons of asparagus to a bowl.

2. Do the same to the zucchini, lay flat on a cutting board and shave into ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Rotate zucchini to a new side once you reach the inner seeded section. Peel until all 4 sides are done. Add to bowl.

3. Slice red onion into thin slivers. Add to bowl.

4. De-stem the basil and slice into thin strips. Add to bowl.

5. Peel or slice off skin of mandarins and add mandarin sections and pine nuts to bowl.

6. Prepare dressing: combine orange juice, vinegar, pine nuts and dates in a blender and blend until smooth.

7. Pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss to combine. Refrigerate before serving if desired.

8. Serve as is, or atop baby spinach or mixed greens in bowls or plates.

Enjoy!

Variations:

If you can’t find champagne vinegar use another fruit vinegar of choice.

If asparagus is out of season, too expensive, or too time consuming to shave you can substitute more zucchini (about 3-4 more). You can use yellow and green zucchini/squash for variety.

If you can’t find pine nuts you can try pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds and toast them if desired.

 Have you ever eaten raw asparagus or added fresh basil to a salad? What did you think? 

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Catherine July 26, 2014 at 3:04 PM

It sounds different and I will try it because I am bored with the same salad. I love asparagus and I know I will love it.

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2 Elizabeth Palmer June 27, 2013 at 12:59 PM

I shared this one with with my FB friends. I loved it – thanks! I follow a sort of “formula”, especially for warm summer nights. I always make some sort of “base” like the asparagus/zucchini mix out of veggies, a “dressing” of some sort, and then serve it over the “greens du jour”. Right now that means lots of baby kale and spinach. Fantastic!

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3 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica June 27, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Awesome! Thanks 🙂

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4 Michelle June 25, 2013 at 7:51 AM

Will definitely try this one. Looks delicious! I love to try different raw foods in the summer…

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5 Tine June 24, 2013 at 3:27 PM

This salad sounds rather lovely. I have everything in the fridge except red onion – drat, always one ingredient short ;-).

Been eating raw asparagus for some years now but only the green variety. The white one is very difficult to find in the UK. I break the spears into small pieces as part of a salad with lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, etc. Usually, I make a fruity low fat dressing. Never had anyone not liking it… I also have a different way of steaming asparagus so that I have a lovely sauce to go with it. There are a lot of ways to enjoy asparagus. Thank you for another recipe.

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6 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica June 24, 2013 at 3:52 PM

I’ve never used white asparagus as it is pretty pricey here in Canada, it’s more common in the USA.

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7 Catherine Johnston June 24, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Well it just so happens I have a pound of fresh asparagus in my fridge which I was planning on roasting – but thanks to you I will be trying raw asparagus tonight! Looks delicious!

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8 Karmyn June 24, 2013 at 11:44 AM

I heard that asparagus could be eaten raw but I never knew what to do with it! I always ended up steaming it. I will give this a try the next time I buy asparagus.

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9 Geri June 24, 2013 at 10:20 AM

OH Double Yum, never ate asparagus w/basil but will now..love the Georgteous recipe, I, personally will leave out the dates//my imagination is vetry gustatory and know it will taste Great w/o them ( 4 me.. 🙂 )

Hugs and thank you Veronica 4 your Great Creative Food talent…

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10 Jo June 24, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Oooh! What a great idea! So innovative! Will have to try this one!

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11 Julie Higgins June 24, 2013 at 9:15 AM

This sounds absolutely yummy I’m definitely going to try this! Thanks for all the great recipes they are so inspiring.

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12 VeganAud June 24, 2013 at 9:14 AM

I tried raw asparagus and was pleasantly pleased with the taste. I used the tips. It was also crunchy. Quite delicious.
This salad looks appetizing and I am looking forward to making same. Thanks!!!

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