Celery and Raw Asparagus Salad with Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano-Reggiano

Quality ingredients are essential for this dish. You must have very fresh asparagus—it was a patch of wild asparagus, just outside my kitchen that inspired the recipe—so that the natural sugars have not begun to turn to starch. You can, however, use another cured meat, such as speck Tirolese or bresaola, in place of the prosciutto di Parma.

Wine recommendations: The lean, bright flavors in this dish call out for a white wine, the leaner the better. You won’t go wrong with Sancerre, Arnais or even a French Chardonnay. A Prosecco, or a blanc de blancs or brut Champagne would work well, too. If you use speck or bresaola, the dish will work with a red wine such as a Pinot Nero.

  • 6 thick asparagus stalks
  • 8 medium celery stalks, trimmed
  • 6 to 8 thin slices prosciutto di Parma, cut into ½-inch wide strips
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper in a mill
  • Chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano

Snap off and discard the tough stems of the asparagus. Using a sharp knife, cut the asparagus into very thin (1/16-inch) diagonal slices and put them in a wide, shallow bowl. Cut the celery in the same way and add it to the asparagus. Add the prosciutto and toss gently. Season lightly with salt and toss again. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and toss again. Season generously with black pepper. Using a vegetable peeler, make curls of cheese and scatter them on top of the salad. Serve immediately.

Published on July 1, 2010