- 1 large bunch of thick asparagus (2 pounds), trimmed
- One 1 1/2-ounce piece of Pecorino Romano cheese
- 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons snipped chives
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 1/4 cup hazelnut oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 navel orange
- 2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
- Using a mandoline set over a large bowl (or a sturdy vegetable peeler), shave the asparagus lengthwise. Shave the Pecorino Romano cheese into the bowl.
- In a blender, combine the orange juice, chives, vinegar and orange zest and process until smooth. With the machine on, add the hazelnut and grapeseed oils in a thin stream and process until emulsified; season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing to the asparagus and let stand for about 5 minutes, until the asparagus is slightly wilted.
- Using a sharp knife, peel the orange, removing all of the bitter white pith. Working over a small bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the sections. Add the orange sections to the asparagus. Mound the salad on a large platter, garnish with the hazelnuts and serve.
A light, fruity, nonvintage sparkling wine will highlight the salty cheese and blend with the citrusy dressing in this salad. Look for one from Italy or Washington State.