One Saturday last September I snuck down to Kinderhook with some friends for a garlic-planting party at Roxbury Farm. After a delicious lunch, we found seats around the crates of garlic bulbs and joined others splitting the heads, tossing the cloves into one bin, the woody stems into a compost barrel.

When we had split enough heads to warrant a first run on the tractor, we made our way over to the field. While Jody, the farmer, drove the tractor, we took turns sitting in the garlic-planting attachment, dropping cloves one at a time down a rotating shoot — this is hard to visualize, but it’s the coolest thing: essentially, one clove of garlic gets pushed into the soil, where it will stay through the winter, spring and early summer until it sprouts into a bulb.

Cool, right? Photos below.

Asparagus on a board.

Friends, it’s asparagus season! In this post, I’m sharing some recipes ideas.

First, this shaved asparagus and arugula salad from Canal House Cooks Every Day. There are countless recipes out there for shaved asparagus salad but this one caught my eye for its unusual dressing: grate Pecorino, pour boiling water over top, whisk in olive oil. It is delicious, and I find the whole salad addictive — so fresh and light on its own, made into a meal piled atop flatbread.

Asparagus Recipes from Around the Web

This collection might give you some more ideas, too.

Raw Asparagus Salad, Step by Step

First, gather some asparagus.

Asparagus on a board.

Using a good peeler, shave the asparagus spears into thin ribbons.

Shaved asparagus in a bowl.

Gather some other greens.

A pile of arugula.

Make the three-ingredient dressing by whisking boiling water into grated pecorino; then whisk in olive oil to emulsify.

Salad dressing ingredients.
Salad dressing in a bowl.

Toss the asparagus ribbons with some of the dressing.

Dressed salad.

Add arugula and toss again.


Pile over flat bread or pizza dough if you wish.

Roxbury Farm Garlic-Splitting Party

Roxbury Farm:


Splitting the cloves:

Tractor with garlic-planting attachment:

Planting the garlic:

Planting the garlic:

After the day at Roxbury Farm, we drove to Hudson for dinner.

And dessert:

It was such a fun day.
roxbury farm

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Raw asparagus salad.

Canal House Shaved Asparagus & Arugula Salad

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This salad comes from “Canal House Cooks Every Day.” What surprised me about the recipe was both the dressing made from water, grated Pecorino cheese, and olive oil and the absence of lemon, which proves to be unnecessary thanks to the tangy, sharp Pecorino (though a squeeze of lemon wouldn’t do any harm). This dressing can be made with Parmigiano Reggiano—I’ve tried—but for reasons I cannot explain does not emulsify as well as when made with Pecorino. I typically prefer Parmigiano Reggiano, but here I don’t.

The dressing can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for at least a week. No need to bring it to room temperature before serving, but give it a good stir before tossing it with the vegetables. Use the vegetables as a guide, too; I have been peeling a dozen or so stalks of asparagus every night, tossing them with a couple of tablespoons of the dressing, then finally tossing with arugula. I love serving this salad over pizza dough baked with olive oil and salt, though a simple bruschetta is nice, too.


  • 1 1/2 cups (4 3/4 ounces) finely grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 pound fat asparagus
  • 8 cups (4 ounces) arugula


  1. For the dressing: Place the cheese in a large bowl. Gradually add 1/2 cup of boiling water, whisking constantly. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly. Taste. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. For the salad, lay the spears flat on a cutting board and trim off the woody ends with a sharp knife. Using a vegetable peeler and pressing hard, shave each spear into long, thin ribbons. (If necessary, cut the final layer of each stalk into thin strips—it might be thicker than the other ribbons, which is just fine.) Trim off each tip and cut lengthwise in half. Toss the asparagus pieces with several tablespoons of the dressing. Add arugula and toss again. Season with more salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Shaved
  • Cuisine: American