Roasting, grilling, sauteing--there are plenty of ways to cook asparagus deliciously. But it also works beautifully raw, and it has a milder taste, so this is the preparation for you if you're feeding someone who isn't as crazy about asparagus as you are (hey, nobody's perfect...). Enjoy the salad as written below, or add the shaved pieces to a bigger salad with lettuce and such to serve more people.
Shaved Asparagus Salad
1 bunch thick asparagus, ends trimmed
5 artichoke heart quarters, thinly sliced lengthwise
8 pitted black olives, chopped
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. toasted sliced almonds, optional
1. Prepare the asparagus: Peel off the outermost layer using a vegetable peeler. Working one at a time, lay a spear on a cutting board or countertop. Working from the stem end to the top, and pressing down firmly with the peeler, cut the spear into thin strips. Transfer to a large bowl; repeat with remaining spears. (If you have ends that you can't cut into strips, wrap and refrigerate and use for something else.)
2. Add artichoke hearts and olives to bowl with asparagus ribbons. Drizzle on oil and lemon juice; season generously with salt and pepper. Toss. Top with almonds, if desired, and serve right away.