It’s Springtime in Taiwan and with asparagus being the vegetable of the season, the relevance is poetic. Spring is a time for well, spring cleaning and asparagus is a cleansing, detoxifying vegetable. It’s packed with minerals and vitamins A, K, E and the B’s (to a lesser degree). Don’t let the health benefits distract you from the gorgeous, nutty, earthiness of the vegetable.
Paying a visit to the infamous Binjiang Market (my temple, I swear), each vendor actually specializes in particular vegetables. So, the asparagus vendor had many varieties to choose from and they all looked amazing.
I settled on the giant asparagus (sorry, forgot to take a picture) since I would be shaving them for this salad.
Here’s the recipe:
5 giant asparagus stalks
1 tablespoon of salt
1 cup of soaked (12-24 hours) cashew nuts (soaking removed digestive inhibitors)
1/2 cup of nutritional yeast (start with less than half and taste as you go along to reach the cheesiness level you find palatable)
a generous pinch of saffron
1 teaspoon of chili oil (you can substitute with paprika/ black pepper)
a splash of water (depends on how thick you like your dressing)
salt to taste
Peel the asparagus then continue to shave, using the peeler. Place in a bowl with the tablespoon of salt. The salt softens the asparagus making it easier to work with. Let it sit for no more than ten minutes then rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel.
Blend the rest of the ingredients together then in a mixing bowl, work it into the shaved asparagus gently, then carefully place on a serving dish.
Garnish with a pinch of saffron.
Binjiang Market Address: No. 336 Minzu East Rd.
Closest subway stop is Xingtian Temple, then a short, 5-minute cab ride to the market