Recipe

Asparagus, pine nut and parmesan salad

If you're looking for a unique and delicious side dish, try this asparagus, pine nut and parmesan salad for a mouthful of flavour. It's so simple to make, and the marinated asparagus has a tasty zing.

By Sophie Gray
  • 30 mins cooking
  • 1 hr marinating
  • Serves 4
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For Sophie Gray's best asparagus tips and tricks, go to In season with Food magazine: asparagus.

Ingredients

  • 2 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup coarsely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 rashers of dry cured bacon, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • salt, to taste
  • chopped parsley, to serve (optional)

Method

  • 1
    Cut the asparagus, including the tips, into very thin slices crossways, and place in a medium bowl. Add the red onion, parmesan, vinegar and oil and toss to combine. Set aside to marinate for at least 1 hour.
  • 2
    Gently fry the bacon until crisp. When cool, add to the asparagus salad.
  • 3
    In the same pan gently toast the pine nuts until golden brown. Season the salad with salt and add the pine nuts just before serving. Sprinkle parsley over the top, if using.

Notes

• Dry cured bacon doesn't contain chemicals or added water, so the pan dripping is full of pure bacon flavour which attaches to anything you cook in it – in this case, the nuts. • The acidity in the vinegar tenderises the asparagus as the flavours mellow, making this a great side dish for barbecue foods, or anything greasy or cheesy. • You could add crispy fried croutons instead of pine nuts, if preferred.