Shaved Asparagus Salad With Coppa

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons very finely diced red onion
1 1/2 teaspoons finely diced preserved lemon (available at well-stocked supermarkets, as well as cooking and gourmet-supply stores)
3/4 teaspoon sliced garlic (about 1 clove)
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
1 1/2 teaspoons chili flakes
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup blended olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper
1 bunch (about 12 stalks) asparagus, trimmed and very thinly shaved or sliced lengthwise using a knife or mandoline
1 small, young onion, very thinly sliced
14 slices spicy coppa (may substitute prosciutto or pancetta)
Shaved Parmigiano, for garnish

In a medium bowl, combine the red onion, preserved lemon, garlic, parsley, dill and chili flakes. Add the vinegar and mix well to evenly distribute. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the oil. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. This makes 1 scant cup vinaigrette, more than enough for remainder of recipe. Vinaigrette will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

Place the shaved asparagus and sliced onion in a bowl and add about 4 tablespoons vinaigrette, tossing to coat. Set aside for a few minutes to soften asparagus and onion.

Meanwhile, divide the coppa between 2 plates.

Take marinated asparagus and onion (it should be pliable like firm noodles), gently twist them into a little nest and place atop coppa. Garnish with the shaved Parmigiano and drizzle with more vinaigrette if desired. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

— Recipe adapted by the Los Angeles Times from Julienne restaurant in Santa Barbara, Calif.


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