Monday, March 17, 2014

Shaved Asparagus Salad with Fried Pastrami and Mustard Dressing – Keeping it Raw

This shaved asparagus salad actually started out as an asparagus wrapped with pastrami recipe, but when that didn’t work out, my wife Michele saved the day, and convinced me to go raw – and I do mean convince.

I really dislike under-cooked asparagus, and in virtually every video I’ve used it, I’ve pleaded with the audience to make sure the spears get to the sweet and tender stage. I’ve always felt that the main reason most people who don’t like asparagus, is that they grew up eating it crunchy, barely warm, and bitter.

However, when you shave it thin with a peeler, and give it a quick curing/pickling in the dressing, those harsh attributes mellow out substantially, and the sweet, grassy flavor comes through. In fact, it was so delicious that I contemplated serving it without the fried meat.  Happily, that passed.

Thanks to the pastrami’s aromatic spices, subtle smokiness, and peppery finish, it was a perfect match. Of course, you can substitute with bacon or ham; but the cured beef brisket was a nice change of pace to those much more common, pork-based choices.

Just be sure to not dress your raw asparagus until you’re ready to eat. The couple minutes it takes to fry the meat is all the marination time you’ll need. Anyway, peak asparagus season is almost upon us, and if you’re looking for a new way to enjoy it, I hope you give this shaved asparagus salad a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions:
24 large asparagus spears (save bottoms for soup)
salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste
4 oz pastrami, sliced thin
For the dressing:
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar (or regular rice vinegar with a pinch of salt and sugar)
3-4 tbsp olive oil, or to taste

23 comments:

Bill Anderson said...

You mention coriander at the end of the video but it is not in the ingredient list

Linda Flood said...

I can't wait to try this with some fresh stalks. It might take some time here in MN to get them though. Thanks for posting such a creative and inventive recipe. Also, I never liked asparagus growing up since it was usually served overcooked! Mushy and stringy-ness. Glad I tried it again as an adult. My eight year old has said for about the last 2 years he didn't like it but a few days ago he ate it and had 2nds and 3rds. I guess it does take 6-20 or more exposures to develop a like. Rambling, sorry. Love the videos.. Thanks Chef John!

Chef John said...

I was referring to the coriander used to make pastrami. It's one of the main flavors.

Azi said...

I'm surprised you didn't use your very own "quick" baked pastrami recipe... I've used it many times in salads, the extra peppery flavor goes well with mild vinaigrettes.

Missjyyko said...

Love asparagus!! must try this out, thanks chef john

Ashish Panday said...

Dear Chef John,

Just wanted to say that at the end of all your videos, I lip-sync your lines "so head over to foodwishes.com for all the ingredients amount and more info as usual. And as always (a big smile on my face) enjoy!!!".

Ashish Panday said...

Dear Chef John,

Just wanted to say that at the end of all your videos, I lip-sync your lines "so head over to foodwishes.com for all the ingredients amount and more info as usual. And as always (a big smile on my face) enjoy!!!".

Daniel Bottoms said...

Hi John,
Great video! Think this might work with white asparagus? The green stuff is not always easy to get over here. I'm guessing it wouldn't work as well, as white asparagus is usually harvested when the stalks are pretty mature... and your green stems were pretty young.

I wonder if coriander leaves would have done this any justice as a garnish?

Thanks for thoughts!
Daniel

Capt Chris said...

Dude, I mean Chef...wow factor x 10. This is the kind of fun stuff I always crave from you to prepare and send my friends over the edge! They all think I'm a neanderthal bachelor until they have a meal with me!! You've helped turn me into a rock star!...this cooking thing is cool. Thanks!

Franken Stein said...

Looks nice.. unfortunately I have a genetic issue that prevents me from enjoying asparagus recipes :)

Sandra from Montreal said...

What a great idea; can't wait to try this. Thanks again, Chef John! :)

Kia Dufun said...

Oh! That reference to Russian election is sublime! That opens the door for me to say (other than you need to know that I'm a french canadian from Quebec) that one of the reason to love Quebec is for our famous Poutine which doesn't invade other territories... poodoomtish!

Now, for your recipe, I learned 3 lessons in 1 : to eat raw asparagus, to make a Dijon mustard dressing and that pastrami can be fried! I can't wait to try all of them together or separately. Thank you for your great recipes as always! Grosses bises!

Annie said...

Chef John, I can't use rice vinegar, what's a good substitute :)

Chef John said...

Any vinegar you like will work, but you may need a pinch of sugar.

Unknown said...

Chef John,
You just crack me up every time I watch. A 'little bit' of cayenne. In everything!! I do the same. Yvonne

jaagleam said...

Hey Chef John,
Love asparagus and pastrami. Never would have thought of frying pastrami. Will try this tomorrow night as a side. By the way, what kind of peeler were you
using. My peeler wont shave asparagus that well. Looking to get something better. What do you recommend?

Chef John said...

Rosle!

jaagleam said...

Thank you Chef for getting back to me. I appreciate it.

will dukeshire said...

this is gonna be awesome I luv pastrami and asparagus its a win win! as always Chef John, thanx for another GREAT ONE!

Sandy said...

Quite the contrary, Chef John. The reason I disliked asparagus as a kid was because I was used to the brown, mushy, limp canned variety. I like my asparagus bright green and crispy, so this recipe sounds excellent to me.

TheProf'sWife said...

Prepared this for the family on Sunday. Wow, what a hit! We were pleasantly surprised by the mild, fresh asparagus flavor. Thank you Chef John!

acfoti said...

Dear Chef John, I used this without the pastrami as the slaw component of fish tacos - it was awesome! Thanks!

Steve Davino said...

Just made this and my wife who doesn't like asparagus loved it. Thanks Chef John I love your recipes and videos.