Here’s another 5-2 fast day meal idea that celebrates the abundance of gorgeously fresh produce. In Italy ‘Insalata Crudi‘ or raw vegetable salads are a staple of any Spring or Summer dinner table. Vibrant and delicious they are a breeze to prepare. All that is really required is a peeler or very sharp knife to shave the vegetables and cheese into long paper thin ribbons before dressing with a sharp lemon vinaigrette. Of course, a mandolin always comes in handy, and even better, this recipe provided the perfect opportunity to experiment with my latest acquisition and shiny new toy; a hand-held spiraliser.
This little gizmo allows you to spiral cut an array of vegetables; think carrots,cucumbers, beetroot, sweet potato and the like, into thick or thin pasta like strands depending on the blade you choose. For my Raw Asparagus And Zucchini Salad, I took a zucchini in one hand, the spiraliser in the other and after a quick succession of twists and turns was rewarded with long, curly strips. Whilst the spiraliser may have worked wonderfully well with the zucchini, the asparagus spears proved much too thin to spiralise and were much easier to prepare with a few quick swipes of a regular vegetable peeler.
Thanks to a few simple kitchen gadgets this very pretty, incredibly fresh and delicious insalata crudi of raw asparagus and zucchini can be thrown together in no time of all. It’s an easy no fuss recipe that delivers maximum flavour for minimum effort and best of all just 265 calories for a substantial plateful.
Raw Asparagus and Zucchini Salad with Parmesan, Lemon And Mint
Serves 2 as a main meal (265 calories per serve)
2 medium zucchini, trimmed (60 calories)
1 bunch (6 spears) asparagus, trimmed (30 calories)
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, shredded (1 calorie)
40g parmesan, reserve a little for garnish (172 calories)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (240 calories)
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (20 calories)
finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon (6 calories)
a generous pinch of sea salt and good grinding of black pepper
USING a spiraliser, mandolin, vegetable peeler or very sharp knife shave the zucchini into long thin strips.
USING a vegetable peeler shave the parmesan and asparagus spears, taking care to keep tips intact. Slice tips thinly on the diagonal with a sharp knife.
PLACE shaved asparagus spears and tips, zucchini strips, parmesan and shredded mint into a large shallow serving bowl. Toss to combine
COMBINE dressing ingredients in a small jar. Shake until well emulsified. Season to taste.
DRIZZLE dressing over the salad. Toss to coat and check seasoning. Garnish with reserved parmesan shavings. Serve.