I won’t try to say this is anything like eating pasta cacio e pepe or that it will satisfy your craving for it—because it isn’t, and it won’t. But there is something ethereal about this salad that really speaks to the season. Shaved vegetables are so elegant and fresh. You could also add some raw zucchini noodles in place of cucumber if you wanted to, serve it on top of thin, crispy or grilled chicken cutlets, or you could pile it on top of baked pizza crust (I might add a little burrata if I was doing that). 


  • 1 cup (145 g) shelled fresh (or frozen) English peas

    Salad Freak Book Cover Salad Freak Jess Damuck
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, or 1 English cucumber

  • 1 pound (455 g) asparagus

  • 1 lemon

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1 handful arugula 


  • Parmesan cheese

  • Pecorino cheese 


  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Extra-virgin olive oil 

COOK: Boil water in a small pot and salt it heavily. Prepare an ice bath with a fine-mesh sieve set over it to contain your peas. Add 1 cup (145 g) peas to the boiling water and boil until the peas are crisp-tender and bright green. Strain and transfer to the ice bath. 

PREP: Trim the ends off 2 Persian cucumbers or 1 English cucumber and shave into long ribbons using a Y-peeler. Add them to the ice bath to crisp up. Preheat the broiler with the rack about 4 inches (10 cm) from the heating element. Using a Y-peeler, peel 1 pound (455 g) asparagus from root end to tip. When you get down to where you can’t peel anymore, trim off the ends and discard, and transfer the peelings to a rimmed baking sheet. 

COOK: Drizzle the asparagus with a bit of oil and season with salt and lots of black pepper. Toss well to coat. Broil until just charred—about 4 minutes. 


In a large bowl, combine the juice of ½ lemon and about ¼ cup (60 ml) oil, and grate the garlic clove into the mixture. 

ASSEMBLE AND SERVE: Drain and pat dry the cucumbers and add them to the bowl with the dressing, along with 1 handful arugula, the asparagus, and peas. Transfer to serving plates or a platter. Grate a fluffy cloud of Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses over the top and stir everything together before taking your first bite. 


With any shaved vegetable, give everything a little “fluffing up” using a scrunching and lifting motion as you add handfuls to the plate so the dish has volume and doesn’t fall flat.

"Recipe excerpt from the new book Salad Freak: Recipes to Feed a Healthy Obsession by Jess Damuck, published by Abrams. Text © 2022 by Jess Damuck. Photography by Linda Pugliese.”

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