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Warm days call for fresh salads, crisp and light with maybe a touch of citrus. Traditional carpaccio is composed of thinly shaved beef often combined with some crunchy fresh veggies that offset the richness of the meat, such as radish or arugula. Carpaccio is not something usually featured on a kid’s menu. But our take is you’ll never know if you like it until you try it.

It turns out my students liked it. They’re still not sick of asparagus. Sometimes if there’s leftovers from class I’ll sneak them home in a tupperware so I’m not contributing to more food waste. But when we made this fresh, mouth-watering salad, a vegetarian version of classic carpaccio, there was nothing left but a little drizzle of lemon juice at the bottom of the bowl.

This makes a great side dish or a light meal in and of itself. The vegetables are interchangeable; in one class we made a version with cucumber and melon.


1 bunch asparagus

1 cucumber

2 tablespoons mint, leaves only, chopped

2 tablespoons basil, leaves only, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

1/4 cup loose packed Parmesan ribbons


1/2 lemon, juiced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

Use a vegetable peeler to remove outer skin of cucumber. Throw away peel. Using the vegetable peeler, make full-length “ribbons” with the asparagus and cucumber. Lay out evenly on a serving platter. Sprinkle chopped mint, basil, avocado and Parmesan over top of squash and cucumber.

Whisk dressing ingredients and pour over Carpaccio, toss and serve.


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