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shaved asparagus salad
       What happened to March coming in like A LION and going out like A LAMB?? We recently had our first "WINTER" snowstorm, the only one that required a snow shovel with more than 8 inches--- in APRIL?? We're now almost into May, and I think it's finally safe to declare it officially SPRING!
       Because the cold weather has been hanging around up here for so long, I've had no cravings whatsoever for Spring-y type foods. Asparagus, rhubarb, early peas, lettuces, radishes and spring onions are finally on my radar. This shaved asparagus salad with early peas is one of the best ways I can think of to usher in the season. Lightly dressed with fresh lemon juice and a fruity olive oil, IT'S PURE SPRING!

LESSONS Learned:
1. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the raw stalks. You'll end up with a thicker piece of each stalk left which you can either freeze for stock or soup. Or do what I do, and thinly slice them and add them to the salad.
2. Hold the woody end in your hand and shave up towards the top of the stalk.
3. Pick out the plumpest sugar snap peas you can find, that way the peas inside will be bigger. Or even better, find them shelled already.
4. You can switch out the cheese. A mild creamy goat cheese is a delicious alternative.
5. MOST IMPORTANTLY! Make sure that you BUY YOUR VEGETABLES AND FRUITS WHEN THEY"RE IN SEASON! Before produce could be shipped long distances, we only ate locally with what could be grown nearby. That means there were no strawberries and zucchini in December, and no butternut squash and apples in May. The foods our bodies need are grown at the time of year when we need to eat them. Turns out NATURE knows what's best for us.


12 medium to large asparagus stalks
1/4-1/3 cup shelled sugar snap peas, about 1/2 pound unshelled
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 Tablespoons fruity olive oil
2 teaspoons honey, optional
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
12 grinds of black pepper, or to taste
a piece of Parmigiano Reggiano for shaving

Make the salad:
       Break or cut off the woody ends of the asparagus, and using a vegetable peeler, shave the stalks from the woody end up. You should have about 2 cups.
       In a medium bowl, add the asparagus and all the rest of the ingredients, except the parmesan cheese. Toss to coat.
       When ready to serve, using a vegetable peeler, shave thin slices of the cheese over the salad.

Serves 3-4. YUM!
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