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Asparagus, Peas and Cucumber ‘Cacio e Pepe’

Parmesan cheese and black pepper aren’t just a match made in heaven. They’re also versatile to boot. Take this asparagus, peas and cucumber “cacio e pepe”—from Jess Damuck’s Salad Freak—as proof that the flavor combination makes everything it touches a little tastier.

“I won’t try to say this is anything like eating pasta cacio e pepe,” she explains, “or that it will satisfy your craving for it—because it isn’t, and it won’t. But there is something ethereal about this salad that really speaks to the season. Shaved vegetables are so elegant and fresh. You could also add some raw zucchini noodles in place of cucumber if you wanted to, serve it on top of thin, crispy or grilled chicken cutlets, or you could pile it on top of baked pizza crust (I might add a little burrata if I was doing that).”

Recipe excerpt from the new book Salad Freak: Recipes to Feed a Healthy Obsession by Jess Damuck, published by Abrams. Text © 2022 by Jess Damuck. Photography by Linda Pugliese.