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.
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.
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.