the taste space

Asparagus Ribbon Salad with Mosto Cotto and Almonds

Posted in Appetizers, Salads by janet @ the taste space on July 23, 2011


Indeed, I am really enjoying my spiralizer. But in my life BTS (before the spiralizer), I was still able to make interesting textures from my vegetables.

Usually my Santoku knife got the job done (tedious, but can julienne just fine). Sometimes I would use my mandoline to help with thin, even slices.

Then there were times where my vegetable peeler was the best thing around.

Like for this ribbon salad.

You can make ribbon salads from a variety of vegetables – zucchini, carrot, and cucumber, to name a few.

I am still relishing in local asparagus, and after ogling many shaved asparagus salads, I finally jumped on the bandwagon when I spotted a recipe for a shaved asparagus salad with a balsamic reduction and almonds.

I never knew how diverse asparagus could be. Yes, asparagus can be eaten raw and it is lovely eaten as ribbons.

Ribboning asparagus can be a tedious process, so this is when you actually want to buy the big, fat asparagus (usually I aim for the thinnest stalks possible since they tend to be sweeter). It is easier to grasp the plump spears and lay them flat as you peel away each layer.

Highlight your peeling efforts with a remarkably simple, yet sophisticated dressing.  You can never go wrong with mosto cotto, an aged condensed balsamic vinegar, and here it is complemented by the sweet earthiness of asparagus and the sweet crunch from the almonds.

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this week’s Healthy Vegan Friday, to this month’s Simple and in Season, and to Ricki’s new Summer Wellness Weekends.

Asparagus Ribbon Salad with Mosto Cotto and Almonds

1 lb asparagus, trimmed (I found the fatter asparagus worked best for this dish)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
generous pinch of salt
generous pinch of pepper (I used lemon pepper)
2 tbsp mosto cotto, or balsamic syrup or other good quality balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1. Thinly shave the asparagus with a vegetable peeler. It helps to anchor the asparagus stalk against the bottom of a cutting board. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and set aside for 5-10 minutes.

2. Plate asparagus, drizzle with mosto cotto and sprinkle with almonds.

Serves 4.

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16 Responses

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  1. sallybr said, on July 23, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    You convinced me…. I just order the “spiralizer” from amazon.com….

    I should not be buying yet another cooking gadget, but could not resist when I saw your other post with the zucchini “pasta”

    oh…. am I going to go through buyer’s remorse????? (sigh)

    • Saveur said, on July 23, 2011 at 5:50 PM

      At least everything you make with the spiralizer will be healthy… can’t say the same for an ice cream machine or a takoyaki pan! ;)
      But I love mine and can’t wait for zucchini season to ramp up!

  2. Ricki said, on July 23, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    I only discovered shaved asparagus salad this past year and I love it! This looks like a particularly snappy one–and love the intense green! Thanks for submitting it to the WW this week. :)

  3. DebinHawaii said, on July 24, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    This looks so simple, pretty and good with the tangy richness of the vinegar and the crunch of the almonds. (Well worth the asparagus shaving!). Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays. ;-)

  4. Dawn said, on July 24, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    I love the idea of the asparagus ribbons. When I tried to do the ribbons with zucchini, once I got to the seeds in the middle it got a bit rough. Do you use those as well or save them for another use. So it looks like I can comment from home but not from work!

    • Saveur said, on July 24, 2011 at 8:58 PM

      Hey Dawn, For the spiralizer (which I imagine would be the same for the ribboning), the trick is to pick small zucchinis so there are very little amount of seeds in the middle.. then you don’t have to worry about it. :)

    • Saveur said, on July 25, 2011 at 10:35 AM

      hehe, for blogspot, my settings at work don’t let me comment either.. but I can from home. I know how frustrating it is to want to comment but not be able to. gah!

  5. Joanne said, on July 24, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    You know, I really tried to get shaved asparagus right a few weeks ago and it just never really happened for me. Sad.

    I also still haven’t gone over to Eataly to pick up some mosto cotto. It sounds perfect with this salad!

  6. tigerfish said, on July 25, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    I like how you make ribbons out of asparagus!

  7. Corina said, on July 26, 2011 at 7:26 AM

    Ribboning always looks so gorgeous but I rarely have the patience to do it at home. I’d never thought of ribboning asparagus before so am keen to try it.

  8. Fabulicious Food! (@RenBehan) said, on August 9, 2011 at 3:46 AM

    Thank you so much for entering Simple and in Season with this recipes. The salad look amazing! Great kitchen gadget! Ren

  9. Ashley said, on August 24, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    I really need to find some mosto cotto! I love the sound of this asparagus salad. You always make the most delicious things.

  10. [...] to raw food) is all about showcasing something different from “ordinary” vegetables. A play of textures without cooking your [...]

  11. [...] spiralizer. A less spendy option is a julienne peeler ($15). Have I mentioned enough times how much I adore my [...]

  12. [...] Strawberry and Basil Salad with Mosto Cotto Asparagus Ribbon Salad with Mosto Cotto and Almonds Skillet-Toasted Corn, Tomato and Anasazi Bean [...]

  13. [...] Cotto is an aged condensed Balsamic vinegar which makes a simple dressing for any salad. Here The Taste Space used local asparagus.   Next, a great post from Kate’s Cakes and Bakes called “Cake [...]


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