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Shaved Asparagus and Arugula Salad

Placing the "shaved" slices of peeled asparagus spears in cold water causes them to curl up into a unique, spiral shape, adding to this beautiful salad's visual appeal. White asparagus has a mild flavor that we prefer for this salad. However, green asparagus will actually curl better than the white.


1 small parsnip, peeled and roughly chopped
1 bunch white asparagus, woody stems trimmed
1 1/2 cups baby arugula
4 figs
1 cup good quality red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot
6 tbsp Vinaigrette (recipe below)
2 tbsp crumbled Stilton cheese


To Make Salad:

  1. Place the parsnip in a small saucepan, cover with water by 1/2-inch, and bring to a low boil. Cook until the parsnip is just fork tender, about 5 minutes. Reserving the cooking liquid, place the parsnip pieces in the bowl of a blender or food processor and blend with just enough cooking liquid to make a smooth paste.
  2. Transfer the parsnip puree to a small bowl and set aside until ready to use.
  3. Place the asparagus flat on a work surface and one at a time, run a vegetable peeler from the tip nearly three-quarters of the way down to the bottom. Turn the spear over and repeat on the other side. Place the peeled asparagus in a bowl of cold water and repeat with the remaining spears. (The peeled asparagus can be made and kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours in advance.)
  4. Place the figs and wine in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the figs are soft, about 5 minutes. Remove the figs from the pan with a slotted spoon and refrigerate until ready to serve. Continue cooking the wine until reduced to a thick syrup 1 to 2 tablespoons, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool before using.
  5. To assemble the salad, drain the asparagus curls and pat dry on a clean cloth. Combine the arugula and asparagus in a medium bowl and toss with the vinaigrette (recipe below).
  6. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the parsnip puree into the center of four salad plates and place one-quarter of the salad on top. Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cheese over each salad.
  7. Cut each fig in half and place 2 halves on each salad. Drizzle each plate with the red wine reduction and serve.

For Vinaigrette
3/4 C white balsamic vinegar
1/2 C thickened vegetable stock
1 Tbsp honey or *agave syrup
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Dijon mustard

To Make Vinaigrette:

Add in all ingredients except olive oil into a small mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in oil.

* In light of recent research, Dr. Weil no longer recommends agave syrup and suggests substituting an equivalent amount of maple or glucose syrup.

This recipe is from the cookbook, Mindful Eating from internationally renowned, award-winning Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona.

Serves 4

Nutrients per serving:
Calories 130
Fat 1.5 g
Saturated fat 0.8 g (9.7% of calories from fat)
Protein 2.8 g
Carbohydrate 17.5 g
Cholesterol 3.2 mg
Fiber 3.9 g


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