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1/4 cup pine nuts or sliced almonds, toasted* and cooled
1 pound asparagus, rinsed
1 lemon, halved
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 ounces Parmesan cheese
1 Lay a single stalk on its side on a cutting board. Holding onto the tough end, use a vegetablepeeler (a Y-shaped peeler is easiest, but I’ve used a standard one successfully) to shave off thin asparagus ribbons from stalk to tip, peeling away from the tough end in your hand. Throw away the rough ends when you’re done.
2 Gently pile your ribbons in a bowl. Squeeze some lemon juice over the asparagus, drizzle it with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle it with saltand pepper. Toss gently.
3 Use your peeler to shave curls of Parmesan right off the block, over the asparagus. Sprinkle with some toasted nuts.
To toast the pine nuts:
Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet at 350 for 5 to 10 minutes. It’s really important, especially with pine nuts, that you stay close and toss them frequently because they love to burn, but if you move them around a bit, you can get a wonderful, even coffee coffee color on them and an intensely nutty flavor. It makes even unfancy nuts taste amazing.