Recently I had the opportunity to visit a farm here outside of Toronto that grows asparagus. And I not only learned a lot about how asparagus is grown, but I left feeling so inspired. If you aren’t familiar with asparagus, you are about to learn about it and also score the recipe for this shaved asparagus salad. It’s light and fresh for spring and it stores well in the fridge sans dressing.
My Trip to the Asparagus Farm:
As I mentioned, I got to go visit Welsh Bros Farm just outside of Toronto a week ago and I had so much fun learning about this beautiful green spear. I went with The Foodies Group and the outing did not disappoint at all. They had us board the asparabus early on a Saturday morning and we drove to the farm to learn all about asparagus. We got to see how the asparagus is farmed and processed and then shipped off. Then we headed to Bonnieheath Estate Lavender & Winery for an epic lunch featuring all the asparagus. The food was incredible and I was blown away by the dishes. It is what got me so excited to create this dish and share it with you.
The day was truly so much fun and it got me thinking of all the different ways to use asparagus. Typically, I just roast them in the oven or on a cast iron pan, but I wanted to do something a bit different this time. After trying a shaved asparagus pasta salad a few weeks ago at a different event, I knew I wanted to do something similar. Truth is, getting out and trying food that is local and in season is one of the simple pleasures of life and it brings me so much joy. To be able to create a recipe that means something to me and creates memories or brings me back to a different time and place is what food is all about.
Health Benefits of Asparagus:
Asparagus is packed full of phytonutrients. It is also an excellent source of vitamin K and folate. It’s also rich in antioxidants, with glutathione and rutin being the two most important. Glutathione for instance plays a critical role on our bodies detoxification system, specifically phase two. Beyond these, asparagus is rich in vitamin C and E, which are two additional antioxidants that are so important for our health.
Asparagus is also a natural diuretic. This means that when you eat asparagus, it promotes the production of urine. This increases the excretion of water from the body, in particular ridding the body of excess salt and fluid. This is great for those who suffer from edema and those with high blood pressure.
Last, it contains inulin, which is an important nutrient that does not break down in our digestive tract. Instead, it passes undigested to our large intestines, where it becomes a food source for good bacteria.
How to Store Asparagus:
When you purchase fresh, local asparagus, I think it truly tastes the best this way. And if you want to make it last a little longer, I suggest storing it upright in a bowl with some water. It is best if consumed within 2-3 days of purchasing. Once you are ready to cook your asparagus, you can simply snap off the ends. Some people chop them off with a knife, but personally I just snap them off. And I always remember my grandma showing me to do it this way. She’d say, “they know where to break off,” and that was that. So do like my grandma did and just snap them off with your hands.
Shaved Asparagus Salad:
If you have never tried having asparagus raw before, you are in for a treat. Not only is this shaved asparagus salad light and fresh, but it’s also so easy to prepare, making it perfect for spring and summer.
Looking for some meal prep options? You can leave this salad without the dressing, and it will store well in the fridge. And if you want to learn more about meal prep, check out my free meal prep guide!
If you make this shaved asparagus salad, tag me on Instagram or leave a comment below!
Shaved Asparagus Salad
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the asparagus into thin strands and place in a large bowl.
Whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt together and toss with the asparagus. Top with mint, pistachios and feta. Serve and enjoy!