A new way to eat asparagus: raw

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By Joseph Erdos for Oneforthetable.com

Steamed, roasted or grilled: these are delicious ways to enjoy asparagus, but not the only way. Have you tried it raw? If you were to just bite in, it's pretty tough to eat. But that's where your vegetable shaver comes in. With it you can create thin ribbons of asparagus that are ready to eat -- all without cooking.

This salad is a great way to put a new spin on asparagus. You'll be surprised by the taste of it raw; it's so fresh and crunchy. A simple vinaigrette is all you need to make the asparagus shine like it should. Try it as an appetizer or side dish.

This salad is so easy to make that you don't even need a recipe. Just use exceptionally fresh asparagus that has thick stems -- the thicker the easier to work with. And don't think thick asparagus is tough, it's the opposite. Make a simple vinaigrette with bright lemon juice and you're all set.

Shaved Asparagus Salad

Serves 2-4

12 spears asparagus

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Using a vegetable peeler, carefully shave asparagus on a flat work surface, moving from end to tip. Add to a mixing bowl.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and Dijon mustard until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over asparagus and toss gently. Serve immediately.

(Joseph Erdos is a New York-based writer and editor, who shares his passion for food on his blog, Gastronomer's Guide. One for the Table is Amy Ephron's online magazine that specializes in food, politics, and love. http://www.oneforthetable.com)

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