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Shaved Asparagus Salad With Pistachios + Preserved Lemon Dressing

Shaved Asparagus Salad With Pistachios + Preserved Lemon Dressing 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Mar 29, 2017

Turning tender stalks into light and airy ribbons is easy to do with a vegetable peeler. But you can just thinly slice the asparagus (on the bias is especially nice). This recipe offers three simple and quick ways to dress and serve them; see the VARIATIONS, below.

Make Ahead: If you want to plan ahead, make the dressing in a large bowl and then place the shaved (or sliced) asparagus on top and don't mix the two together. Drape the asparagus with a dampened paper towel and leave at room temperature for up to 2 hours or in the refrigerator overnight. Mix together just before serving. (This make-ahead technique goes for the VARIATIONS as well.)

Where to Buy: Preserved lemon is available at Middle Eastern markets and in jars at Whole Foods Markets.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons preserved lemon brine (see headnote)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons roasted, unsalted shelled pistachios, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped (see NOTE)


Whisk together the chopped preserved lemon, its brine, honey and oil in a large mixing bowl. Taste and season lightly with salt, as needed (this will depend on how salty your preserved lemons are).

Use a sharp vegetable peeler to shave each asparagus spear into long ribbons, adding them to the bowl as you work. If any of the asparagus tips break off while you’re doing this, just add them as well.

Use your clean hands to gently coat the asparagus with the dressing. Transfer to a serving platter; sprinkle with the pistachios and serve right away.

VARIATIONS: To make a Shaved Asparagus and Parmesan Salad, omit the chopped preserved lemon and use fresh lemon juice instead of the preserved lemon brine. Toasted pine nuts sub in for the pistachios. Top with plenty of shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

To make a Shaved Asparagus Salad With Sesame and Soy, omit the preserved lemon dressing. Whisk together 1 tablespoon each plain rice vinegar, low-sodium soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and olive oil. Use that mixture to dress the asparagus, then transfer to a platter and top with a shower of roasted sesame seeds.

NOTE: To toast pistachios on a baking sheet, spread in a single layer, in a 400-degree oven for 4 to 5 minutes, shaking them once so they brown evenly. Cool completely before using.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Julia Turshen.

Tested by Mary Pat Flaherty.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 150

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 13g 20%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 135mg 6%

Total Carbohydrates: 7g 2%

Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 3g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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