British asparagus is still very much in season, so in our household we’re eating it every chance we get. My only issue with this is that there’s only so much Sauvignon Blanc you (or rather, I) can take.
So I tried mixing it up a bit, and headed to Italy. The cortese grape that is used to make Gavi produces crisp, relatively neutral wine. This one has flavours of lemon, green apple and a twist of bitter almond on the finish.
It was a real long shot pairing on my part, and although the Gavi was nowhere near as aromatic as a Sauvignon Blanc would be, it had a great level of concentration which seemed to work. The citrussy flavours of the Gavi, really paired off well with the lemony dressing on the asparagus, whilst lifting the richness of the salmon.
I love when food is so pretty, and not only was it good to look at but the salad is the flavours of spring on a plate. Raw asparagus has a lovely delicate fresh flavour, which doesn’t overwhelm a dish as much as when it’s cooked. The saltiness of the parmesan with this, and zesty dressing was a lovely combination. I could have just eaten a whole bowl of this by itself, but the dish was well balanced by the salmon and a few new potatoes on the side.
Insalata di asparagi crudi con parmigiano
Adapted from Two Greedy Italians
juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp lemon flavoured extra virgin olive oil
salt and ground black pepper
80g parmesan, freshly shaved
- Cut off the asparagus tips and set aside. Trim all the remaining stems, peeling and discarding all the stingy parts.
- Cut the trimmed stemmed into fine julienne matchsticks and arrange with the whole tips on a platter.
- Dress with the lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the parmesan shavings on top and serve.