Raw Asparagus and Mushroom Salad with Walnuts and Miso Dressing

Delicate fresh asparagus and finely shaved mushrooms are tossed with miso dressing and topped with lightly toasted walnuts.Asparagus and Mushroom Miso Walnut Salad, Gourmande in the Kitchen

They’re the talk of the town; slim, green and delicate, and come springtime everyone’s talking about them – asparagus.

Nothing screams springtime like asparagus (well perhaps artichokes do), the first appearance of those tender stalks at the market is a long anticipated event after the long produce-starved winter months.  And as soon as I spot them you can be sure I’ll have a bunch on hand throughout the season, because asparagus this fresh and tender won’t last for long.

Asparagus and Mushroom Miso Walnut Salad, Gourmande in the Kitchen

Although delicious steamed, blanched, roasted or grilled, there’s another side to preparing asparagus.  Sweet in-season asparagus is so fresh there’s no reason you have to cook it at all.

Did you know you could eat asparagus raw?

This may not be breaking news to many of you but it wasn’t the most obvious thing in the world to me at first.  I suppose years of preparing it in the above mentioned manners left me blind to the possibility, that is until I stumbled onto a recipe for shaved asparagus dressed in a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette, topped with Parmesan.

Asparagus and Mushroom Miso Walnut Salad, Gourmande in the Kitchen

Raw asparagus has a slightly sweet, mild grassy flavor.  Its crisp texture is just right for a warm night when a hot meal seems out of place.  Not to mention how quick and quick it is to prepare that way.

For this salad I swapped the lemon vinaigrette out for an Asian inspired miso dressing (ever so slightly sweet) to compliment the delicate fresh asparagus and added in some finely shaved mushrooms for earthiness.  Rather than ribbons, I thinly sliced the slim stalks of asparagus on the diagonal to create slender slivers (make sure you choose the slimmest stalks as they are the most tender raw).  The whole thing is topped with lightly toasted walnuts for some added crunch.

Asparagus and Mushroom Miso Walnut Salad, Gourmande in the Kitchen

Crunchy, crisp, peppery, earthy and sweet, this combination might make you re-think cooking asparagus again at all.  So get yourself to the market soon, because asparagus season is quickly passing…

Serves Serves 4

Raw Asparagus and Mushroom Salad with Walnuts and Miso Dressing

A raw asparagus salad with miso dressing and crunchy walnuts.

20 minPrep Time

Save Recipe


  • 1 bunch thin asparagus spears (about 1 pound), trimmed and bottom half peeled if stalks aren’t pencil thin
  • 3 oz/ 85g baby portabella (aka cremini) mushrooms, cleaned and patted dry
  • 1 Tablespoon/15ml light white or yellow miso, (organic and non-GMO)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons rice vinegar (unseasoned or you can use apple cider vinegar if you prefer)
  • ½ tsp raw honey
  • 1 Tablespoon/15ml mild flavored olive oil (or walnut oil if you prefer)
  • 1 Tablespoon/15ml water (or more if necessary to thin dressing)
  • 1/4 cup/ 28g walnuts, lightly toasted


  1. Working with 1 asparagus spear at a time, slice spears on the diagonal to create very thin slices. Transfer to a medium bowl (snap off tips as you get to the end of the spears and add to bowl). Shave mushrooms with a mandolin to create paper thin slices and add to bowl as well.
  2. Combine miso, rice vinegar, honey, oil and water in a small bowl and briskly whisk until well blended and a pourable consistency (add more water to thin if necessary).
  3. Drizzle miso dressing over shaved mushrooms and asparagus and toss to coat.
  4. Divide asparagus salad among plates. Top with toasted walnuts and serve.


Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw


How do you enjoy asparagus?

(A special thanks to California Walnuts for providing the walnuts for this recipe.)


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. says

    So addicted to these right now! Funny how they are in abundance during autumn in Sydney. We love them braised, glossy and crunchy simply in some oil and water to be used as dipping sticks for a big bowl of hummus.

  2. says

    I absolutely adore green asparagus! Can eat them all the time and now that I am back from Dubai, the spring produce is just starting here. I see asparagus everywhere. This salad is next on my list!

  3. says

    I feel like a glutton for buying asparagus year-round at the grocery store. But I can’t help myself – I always want some of this crisp freshness on my table!

    I didn’t know you could eat it raw… next time:)

  4. says

    Don’t laugh at me if I tell you I chew raw asparagus all the time…
    Oh yeah they are talk of the town!!!
    This sale looks WOW… I cannot wait to try it..
    B/w I picked artichoke from wholefood today, will try ur recipe tmrw…
    I am already excited…

  5. says

    aaaaah, I love asparagus! And yes, they are so delicious raw, especially when they are young and tender like these early season ones. If I don’t have them shaved and raw, I love them done on a hot griddle just till wilted, dressed with armesan shavings – bliss! (also obsessed with miso dressings at the moment…)

  6. says

    The arrival of asparagus each year makes me a very happy girl. I love it roasted, grilled, steamed, blanched and raw, but only if shaved very thin. I don’t own a mandolin but would like to buy one just to make this salad.

  7. says

    Interesting, Sylvie. We eat a lot of asparagus, steamed, and I’ve served it shaved in a salad, but never the whole stem. Next time I serve it, I’ll take a bite before I steam it and see if I like it raw.

  8. says

    delicious! I haven’t tried raw asparagus before, and will have to wait when spring comes back to try! But the dressing, I will do one soon!

  9. says

    I first saw them shaved into a salad in a Donna Hay mag and I thought, “Yeah, maybe for the Australians!” —I know, right? Food snobbery from someone who yet knew nothing about it. But now I love it! Especially when the asparagus are fresh and beautiful like the ones you used!

  10. says

    Well there you go, I didn’t know, and didn’t even think to try, eating raw asparagus. I adore asparagus and my favourite way to eat it is with a soft poached egg and a slice of sourdough toast. Mmm heaven!

  11. says

    I love both green & white asparagus & I love that miso dressing.
    I just ate yellow sweet miso for the very first time today & liked it. So I will love your dressing too! 🙂

  12. Naomi says

    I have never tried having asparagus in the raw, so I can’t wait to try it and try the miso dressing!

    And I LOVE this photo set-so beautifully composed and love the color scheme on it!

  13. says

    Loving the miso dressing. And yes I mostly eat the asparagus raw. I love it so much that I just break it off and snack on it all day long whenever I get a bunch. the blue green board is so pretty!

  14. says

    I have been waiting impatiently for slim tender green asparagus to show up on our markets – for now the thick white is starting to arrive. I want to make lots of salads and this Asian-inspired dressing is calling to me!

  15. says

    We must have simlar tastes! I just posted an asparagus recipe with lemon miso dressing. I love miso and asparagus! This recipe looks delicious and your photos are beautiful!