Fresh asparagus, watermelon radish, and sugar snap peas make up this colorful and refreshing asparagus ribbon salad. White beans add more protein and the dressing can be used for other salads as well. Optional sharp white cheddar complements the ingredients well. You'll be able to impress your dinner guests with a lovely presentation of asparagus ribbons or make a quick lunch with this recipe and feel like you're dining at a nice restaurant from home.
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- 12 ounces asparagus
- 1 medium watermelon radish
- 4 ounces sugar snap peas
- 1 cup white beans, canned, no added salt
- 1 small shallot
- kosher salt
- dijon mustard
- 1 lemon
- extra virgin olive oil
- sharp white cheddar (optional)
how to pick fresh asparagus?
Larger asparagus spears will work better for this recipe since you want enough material to create nice asparagus ribbons.
things to look for when picking asparagus
- Color: look for bright green or violet-tinged spears
- Texture: you want stems that are firm to touch and not limp
- General Appearance:
- The tips should be closed and compact
- Look at the bottom of the asparagus stalks - fresh ones should look somewhat dense and not cracked or "woody"
how to make this salad - step by step
Remember to wash the fresh produce (asparagus, sugar snap peas, radish, and lemon) with cold water and gently dry with a clean kitchen towel before starting.
how to make asparagus ribbons
Place each asparagus spear flat on your cutting board and hold the stem while making ribbons with a vegetable peeler, starting from the bottom of the spear to the top. If the asparagus spears are large, the bottoms may be fibrous. You can start peeling about 1 inch from the bottom if that's the case.
pro tip: this Kuhn Rikon Swiss peeler is used in professional kitchens because they make thin, even slices and stay sharp for years. They're my favorite peeler and great for making asparagus, carrot, or other vegetable ribbons. Not to mention this peeler is comfortable to hold and works for left-handed cooks as well!
how to prepare sugar snap peas and watermelon radish
Remove tips and strings from the sugar snap peas. Then cut on a bias into bite-sized slices as shown in the photo below.
Peel the watermelon radish, cut in half, and then place each half flat-side down on the cutting board before cutting thin, half-moon slices.
how to make lemon shallot salad dressing
This simple lemon shallot salad dressing can be used for a lot of different salads, so be sure to save any extras.
- Peel and mince 1 small shallot - watch the cooking video to see how to peel and mince a shallot.
- Make the dressing base - mix minced shallot, salt, dijon mustard, honey, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
- Whisk in olive oil to emulsify the dressing - slowly drizzle olive oil into the dressing base while whisking until emulsified. Watch the video for a helpful towel trick that helps you keep the bowl steady when you have to pour and whisk at the same time.
Combine shaved asparagus, sugar snap peas, radish, and cooked white beans into a medium mixing bowl and toss with your desired amount of dressing.
Taste as you dress until you can't resist taking another bite!
Plate the salad and top with shredded sharp white cheddar if you like. Just so you know, adding shredded cheddar will make your overall dish saltier, so be sure to adjust the amount of dressing you use accordingly.
cooking with kids
COOKING WITH KIDS - what can the kids help with?
- help wash fresh produce
- mix salad dressing base ingredients
- whisk salad dressing while a parent holds the bowl and adds olive oil
- help with assembly and plating
- Regular red or easter radishes instead of watermelon radish
- Mix in carrot ribbons with asparagus ribbons
- The dressing can be sweetened with sugar or concentrated white vinegar cream instead of honey
extra recipe tips and ideas
- If you'd like to enjoy the salad later, hold off on the dressing and keep the prepared asparagus, sugar snap peas, and radish in a clean, air-tight container separate from the cooked white beans. Refrigerate all the ingredients and dressing until you're ready to enjoy (up until 1 day).
- Any extra dressing can be stored in a clean, covered container in the refrigerator to use for another salad (1-2 days).
- Sweet cherry tomatoes and/or grilled asparagus would make a great addition to this salad!
recipes that go well with this salad
This salad is great on its own, but would also go great with
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asparagus ribbon spring salad
watch it step-by-step: the sound of cooking® video
- 12 ounces asparagus, shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
- 1 medium watermelon radish (~2 inch diameter), peeled and cut into thin, half-moon slices
- 4 ounces sugar snap peas (about 2 cups), tips and strings removed, sliced on a bias
- 1 cup white beans, canned, no added salt, cooked (steamed for 5 minutes until hot)
- ½ cup grated sharp white cheddar, optional (about 2 ounces)
- 1 small shallot, peeled and minced
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, about 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Combine shaved asparagus, sugar snap peas, radish, and cooked white beans into a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
- To make the dressing base - mix minced shallot, salt, dijon mustard, honey, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
- Slowly drizzle olive oil into dressing base while whisking until emulsified.
- Dress salad to taste right before serving. Top with shredded cheese if desired.