ASPARAGUS, FENNEL, AND PIAVE CHEESE SALAD WITH MEYER LEMON CAPER VINAIGRETTE

Slice the fennel at the last minute or it will turn brown.

Feeds 1-2 with some dressing left over.


Ingredients:

- 1 shallot, diced

- 1/2 anchovy plus a little of the oil, finely chopped (optional)

- 1/2 meyer lemon (or regular lemon),  juice plus zest

- 1 teaspoon white wine or champagne vinegar

- 1 tablespoon capers with some of the juice

- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard (I always use creamy Grey Poupon)

- about 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (a strong olive oil works well here)

- 10-12 stalks of asparagus, peeled up to the base of the tip AND  thinly sliced on an angle

- 1 medium-sized  head of fennel, very thinly sliced (paper thin with mandoline if possible)

- a few sprigs of fennel fronds, coarsely chopped or torn

- 20 or so strips of piave cheese (or parmesan), very thinly sliced (works well with a vegetable peeler)

- crunchy salt

- pepper


Directions:

Place shallot and anchovy (if using) in a bowl. Add lemon juice + zest, vinegar, capers + juice, and set aside for 10 minutes. Add mustard. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Taste. Add a bit more of whatever flavor is lacking. Maybe more lemon, or anchovy or olive oil. Set aside. It will keep for a week in the fridge.

Combine asparagus, fennel, and fennel fronds. Add salt and pepper. Toss with some of the vinaigrette. Taste. This salad absorbs a lot of dressing so be prepared to add more. Sprinkle cheese over the top and gently toss once more. Serve immediately.

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