Normally, I eat my asparagus cooked - pan-fried, griddled or gently boiled. But I came across Antonio Carluccio's recipe for a raw asparagus salad in the book Two Greedy Italians (it's called insalata di asparagi crudi con Parmigiano).
You do have to get firm, fresh asparagus for this, and now's the time to find it. You just wash and trim the asparagus spears of any tough, stringy bits, lop off their bud-like heads and slice the stalks thinly lengthways, keeping the more delicate heads intact. Dress on a serving plate with sea salt, black pepper, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and you're done!
All that's left is to shave over some Parmesan and serve. I loved the crunchy texture and fresh flavour of the asparagus and it was so easy to put together, too. Makes a great change from the ordinary lettuce and leaf-based salads, do give it a go!
This recipe can be found on page 162 of the book Two Greedy Italians, published by Quadrille, ISBN 978-1-84400-942-8