April 15, 2013

Raw Asparagus Salad with Red Onion and Pecorino

 Raw Asparagus Salad with Red Onion and Pecorino“Raw power honey just won't quit, raw power I can feel it, raw power honey can't be beat, get down baby and a kiss my feet.”  Perhaps rock-star Iggy Pop knew about the power of a raw asparagus salad, how it pleasantly surprises people who thought asparagus could only be eaten cooked. I was skeptical when I saw Anne Burrell’s recipe for raw asparagus salad in her cookbook, Cook Like A Rockstar, but her headnote promised that it would be a unique crowd-pleaser.  

 Raw Asparagus Salad with Red Onion and Pecorino
I took the plunge and made it ahead of time for my Annual Beef Stew Party.  One taste of it revealed a crunchy umami burst with hints of zingy red onion and creamy Pecorino saltiness.  I tucked it away in the refrigerator to stop myself from going all "Cookie Monster" on it.  When party time arrived, our guests took turns scooping up mounds of the salad.  They ate it all and then started asking for the recipe; ain't that a hostess’s dream?

 Raw Asparagus Salad with Red Onion and Pecorino

I realized that I had indeed, without much effort at all, cooked like a rock-star.  Heck, it wasn’t even asparagus season; far from it.  I purposely waited until the appropriate season to pass this recipe on to you so that it would be even more flavorful.  Once you try it, you’ll realize how difficult it was for me to hold my blog-tongue.  The next chance you get, chop up and serve this simple but fist-pumpingly tasty salad and feel the raw power of asparagus.

RECIPE (From Cook Like a Rockstar by Anne Burrell)

Makes 4-6 servings

1 bunch skinny asparagus, tough bottom stems snapped off
1 tiny red onion (or 1/4 of a large one), finely diced
1 cup finely grated Pecorino cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
Olive Oil
Coarse salt

1.  Cut the asparagus, including the tips, into very thin rounds. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the asparagus, red onion and pecorino.

2.  Drizzle your desired amount of vinegar, a big drizzle of olive oil and salt to taste and toss well.  Serve.


  1. I braved my intimidating (To me) local italian shop to get the pecorino for this and I'm trying my first attempt at it right now! I went more karaoke than rock star though. My asparagus was on the thicker side so I steamed it, very lightly. Next time I think I'll go lighter on the vinegar.

  2. Hi Carey! Oh awesome! I hope you liked it! Ya know, I have some pretty fat asparagus in my fridge right now and thought that I might blanch it super-quickly before making this salad. I'll try it both ways. Actually I'm so busy this week, I'll probably end up with rotten asparagus before I get around to making a salad! Thanks for trying the recipe and sharing your aspara-story!