Shaved Asparagus & Sweet Corn Salad w/ Fresh Lemon Dressing

Asparagus & Sweet Corn Salad w- Fresh Lemon Dressing (1)
Spring, to me, has “officially” arrived when ………… asparagus can be found at the market for less than $2 per pound and fresh corn (though not local) is not only a great price but is sweet and tender with tiny, pale white and yellow kernels that seem to burst with flavor and freshness.

I found both recently on my weekly trip to Aldi and was both thrilled and inspired. I decided to shave the asparagus which is a delicious way to enjoy raw asparagus. Fresh corn adds a lovely crunch and does not need to be cooked when used in a salad like this, so it was fun and easy to put together.

Asparagus & Sweet Corn Salad w- Fresh Lemon Dressing

It does take a bit of time to shave the asparagus but this can be done ahead and kept, refrigerated, in a bowl of ice water for 6-8 hours, making this a perfect dish to make ahead for guests.

Asparagus & Sweet Corn Salad w- Fresh Lemon Dressing (4)

I added dried cranberries for a bit of delicious sweetness and thin ribbons of red onions for a burst of zesty flavor.

Asparagus & Sweet Corn Salad w- Fresh Lemon Dressing (2)

The dressing is super simple and compliments the wonderful veggies perfectly; a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a splash of oil and a dash of honey. It’s fresh. vibrant and, best of all, takes less than two minutes to put together! A scatter of cilantro leaves is the crowning glory, adding one more layer of flavor and makes a very pretty presentation,

Asparagus & Sweet Corn Salad w- Fresh Lemon Dressing (3)

I call this a salad, but honestly, it can take on a myriad of personalities. It would be wonderful mounded on top of grilled chicken or pork tenderloin, delicious as a crunchy topping for goat cheese-spread bruschetta and it makes a delicious tartine; just grill a slice of rustic bread with a bit of olive oil, pile it high with this flavorful veggie mixture and top with a bit of crumbled Feta – fantastic (I had this for lunch today – it was fabulous!)

Oh, and be sure to check back Monday for one more amazing way to use this salad; my Pesto & Prosciutto Pizza w/ Fresh Mozzarella & Shaved Asparagus Salad. You’re going to LOVE this one!

P.S. I use a vegetable peeler to shave my asparagus. Here is a great tutorial on this simple method.

Shaved Asparagus & Sweet Corn Salad w/ Fresh Lemon Dressing
 
One reader summed it up this way "I made this last night and it was so good I almost licked the plate clean". We did too. You will too!
Author:
Recipe type: Salads
Ingredients
  • Ingredients for the salad
  • 1 bunch asparagus, shaved into thin ribbons with a sharp vegetable peeler*
  • 3 cobs fresh corn, corn removed from husks**
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup (packed) fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ small red onion, very thinly sliced with a sharp knife
  • Ingredients for the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons neutral flavored oil (ie canola or sunflower)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • sea salt, a pinch
  • freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. For the dressing, combine oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl, mix well with a fork or small whisk.
  2. Combine shaved asparagus and thinly sliced red onion in a medium size bowl filled with ice water. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes or up to 8 hours (refrigerated). When ready to serve, drain well and spread out on a clean kitchen towel to dry.
  3. Combine asparagus/onion mixture with corn and dried cranberries and cilantro leaves. Add dressing to coat and toss well to combine.
  4. Salad can be made 2-3 hours ahead or served immediately. Since there's no lettuce involved to wilt, it's delicious the next day as the flavors will have melded. The asparagus won't be as curled (from the stint in ice water) and pretty, but it still looks fresh and tastes fabulous!
Notes
~ *Asparagus is easy to shave with a sharp vegetable peeler. If your peeler is old or dull, don't even try it. Here's a great tutorial with helpful tips on shaving asparagus.
~ ** You might be wondering if I forgot to tell you how to cook the corn. When corn is tender and fresh, it doesn't need any cooking when used in recipes like salads and salsas. It adds a delightful sweet crunch and is full of flavor.


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