Have you ever tried raw asparagus? This Shaved Asparagus Salad is made with raw asparagus ribbons, quinoa, strawberries, arugula, and shaved parmesan. It's a beautifully fresh spring salad that can be served as a side or a full meal!
Let's talk about asparagus! I eat a ridiculous amount of asparagus in the summer. I buy it almost every week and roast it to enjoy alongside chicken, steak, and pretty much any entree.
It's naturally delicious and doesn't need a lot of doctoring to be tasty. I usually just drizzle it with some olive oil and sprinkle on some minced garlic and salt and pepper before roasting. If I want to mix it up, I might use a little soy sauce or freshly grated parmesan.
But I only recently discovered that I don't need to roast asparagus to make it tasty... In fact, I don't have to cook it at all. And guess what? I actually love asparagus more when it's raw. What a revelation!
Can You Eat Raw Asparagus?
Yes! There's no rule that says asparagus needs to be cooked and though it's not super commonly served uncooked, raw asparagus is actually delicious.
I thought raw asparagus would be bitter, but it actually tastes sweeter than when it's cooked (of course, make sure you're buying super fresh in-season asparagus when eating it raw!).
There's some debate about the nutritional value of it without cooking it. Some studies show that it actually has less antioxidants when enjoyed raw, but cooking it may also reduce the content of other nutrients, like vitamin C (source). But no matter how you eat it, asparagus is a nutritious choice!
You probably don't want to just take a bite out of a stalk of raw asparagus as it may be tough to chew... That's why I recommend shaving it!
How to Shave Asparagus
Shaving asparagus is easy, but I do recommend you purchase thick stalks if you can (I usually like to buy thin asparagus, but when shaving it to eat raw, I buy thick!).
Chop off the tough ends from asparagus stalks just like you normally would. I also like to cut the tips off since I know they'll be too thin to shave and they look nice in the salad, especially as a garnish.
Now, using a vegetable peeler and starting at the end of the asparagus, peel asparagus from end to end into long ribbons. It helps if you hold the asparagus down on a cutting board to stabilize it.
Look at how beautifully green that raw asparagus is!
You may be left with some asparagus stalk remains that are too thin to keep peeling, but not quite shavings. You can either toss them in the salad, too, or save them for a vegetable stock or another use.
Now that you have a bowl full of asparagus ribbons, you're ready to construct the rest of the salad, which is also super easy.
Here's what I added in... Of course, you can substitute anything or make any additions you choose!
- Shaved asparagus
- Cooked quinoa (let it cool before using in salad)
- Sliced strawberries
- Shaved parmesan
- Orange vinaigrette dressing
That's it! Such a simple salad, but packed with beautiful colors and really heavy on the green!
How to Make Orange Vinaigrette Dressing
Of course, you can use any dressing you want on this shaved asparagus salad and can even use a store-bought option, but making your own dressing is the easiest thing in the world and I highly recommend it!
The slightly sweet/slightly tart flavors of this orange vinaigrette complement the earthiness and spiciness (from the arugula) of this salad so perfectly!
All you have to do is add all the ingredients to a jar, cover it, and shake it up. If you don't have a jar, you can put them all in a bowl and whisk them together.
Here's what goes into the orange vinaigrette:
- Freshly squeezed orange juice
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Minced garlic
So simple, but such great flavor!
Once you've assembled your raw asparagus salad, drizzle on some of the dressing (use just a little bit to start) and toss together.
I like to top the salad with a few more parmesan shavings and those beautiful raw asparagus tips.
I love all the fresh spring flavors packed into this salad. But also? The quinoa adds in some protein and makes this salad more of a meal.
I've been making it as a side to my favorite spring entrees, but you can also serve shaved asparagus salad as an entree!
You could also top it with a piece of salmon or steak or toss in some grilled chicken for even more protein.
This shaved asparagus salad is definitely best enjoyed the day you make it. Especially once you add the dressing on.
If you're only planning on eating some of it and want to save the rest, I recommend not adding the dressing to the entire bowl and just adding it to individual servings.
Dressing-free, salad leftovers should be good for a couple days in the fridge when stored in an airtight container.
More Spring/Summer Salad Recipes
If you're looking for more ways to enjoy spring and summer produce to the fullest extent, check out some of my other favorite salad recipes!
- Steak and Strawberry Salad
- Watermelon Panzanella'
- Mango and Feta Salad
- Everyday Kale and Quinoa Salad
- Asparagus, Orange, and Gorgonzola Salad
- Blackberry Feta Salad
- Lobster Salad (from Jenny Shea Rawn)
- Strawberry Caprese Salad (from Krazy Kitchen Mom)
- Spring Brunch Cobb Salad (from Give it Some Thyme)
I'm thrilled that I've discovered a new way to enjoy one of my favorite spring vegetables and I have a feeling this shaved asparagus salad will be made over and over again in my home!
Have you ever tried raw asparagus?
Shaved Asparagus Salad
- 1 lb. asparagus (purchase thick stalks if you can)
- 3 cups arugula
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (cooled)
- ¼ cup shaved parmesan
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Shave asparagus: Chop off the tough ends from asparagus stalks. If you want, also cut the tips off and set them aside to use as garnish. Using a vegetable peeler and starting at the end of the asparagus, peel asparagus from end to end into long ribbons. It helps if you hold the asparagus down on a cutting board to stabilize it.
- Assemble Salad: Put asparagus ribbons in a large salad bowl. Also add arugula, sliced strawberries, cooked quinoa, and shaved parmesan (save a few slivers to garnish salad with). Drizzle dressing on and toss salad well.
- Garnish salad with asparagus tips and parmesan slivers if desired.
- Add all ingredients to a small jar, cover and shake well. If you don't have a jar, you can add ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together.