Novel Vegetable Preparation: Ribbons

During the summer, my family grills some form of vegetable nearly every night. Asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, peppers, onions and all types of combinations of each. The dishes are delicious and colorful, but sometimes the repetition gets a little mundane. I wanted to try something different last night and as I was searching CookingLight.com for ideas I came across a unique way to prepare vegetables without any cooking. The image of the recipe caught my eye immediately-- it showed asparagus shaved into ribbons. I'd seen carrots and other vegetables sliced like this, but never asparagus, so I had to try it. The process of shaving the asparagus spears into ribbons was slightly difficult and failed to utilize the entire spear, but after some time I collected a large bowl of shavings and saved the remaining parts for later use. Combining the asparagus ribbons with cherry tomatoes, feta and a chive/dijon/lemon dressing proved to be an easy, fresh vegetable side. Its unique flavor and texture was a nice change-up from the usual grilled veggies.


1 pound large asparagus spears, trimmed
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

1. Lay each asparagus flat and hold by the spear tip. Shave the asparagus into ribbons with a vegetable peeler to measure about 3 cups. Reserve remaining asparagus for another use.
2. Combine ribbons with cherry tomatoes.
3. In a small bowl, combine chives, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper and dijon, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over asparagus mixture; toss gently to coat.
4. Sprinkle feta on top.

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