It is cool and rainy yet again here in Umbria, and although we have had some warm sunny days this past week, most of May and early June have been pretty miserable regarding weather. During one stretch of warm temperatures when we were able to finally be out in the garden most of the day, I threw together this fresh, light salad as a starter for our dinner. It is an easy to assemble salad for any time of the year as long as you have fresh fennel and asparagus, but especially enjoyable during the long hot days of summer.
The asparagus at my local market was thicker than I had hoped for, so I used a vegetable peeler to shave thin slices from the stems. If your asparagus is thin, you can cut the stems in half lengthwise, leaving the tips whole. I used a lemon vinaigrette for this salad to keep the flavors lights and bright, and the addition of shaved Pecorino cheese adds another flavor component to this crisp, elegant salad. If you had some on hand, small mint or parsley leaves would be lovely in this salad as well. To make this salad a complete meal for lunch, I like to add some chopped boiled eggs on top.
Deborah Mele 2016
- 2 Large Fennel Bulbs
- 1 Bunch Thin Asparagus Spears (See Notes Above)
- 1/2 Cup Shaved Pecorino Romano Cheese
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Chopped Fresh Thyme
- Chopped Boiled Eggs
- Core the fennel bulbs, then use a sharp knife or mandolin to slice thinly.
- Cut the tips off the asparagus, and cut the stems in half, then into 2 inch pieces.
- Place the prepared fennel and asparagus in a bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, thyme,salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat.
- Arrange the salad on a platter, then top with the shaved cheese, and optional chopped egg if using.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 254 Total Fat: 24g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 19g Cholesterol: 57mg Sodium: 256mg Carbohydrates: 5g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 2g Protein: 5g