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Hearty summer salad

June 6th, 2013 No Comments

Asparagus White Bean Salad Melissa Clark

I can’t make this salad for at least another two weeks, but once I’m in a real kitchen, it will be on the top of my list.  Melissa Clark’s recipes never disappoint!

She states in her NYT article that she had issues with dried beans and that Great Northern canned beans worked just fine. (Yay!)

What I love about this dish is that it’s a departure from most light and citrusy salads that I usually have to eat a mountain of before I feel satisfied.  You can also toss the leftovers in quinoa with fresh basil, tomatoes, and turkey and have a whole new salad.

White Bean Asparagus Salad with Tarragon-Lemon Dressing

By Melissa Clark, New York Times Dining 6/5/2013

Total time: 20 minutes (plus soaking time for dried beans), serves 4-6


  • 8 ounces dried white beans or 2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern or cannellini beans
  • Salt
  • 2 bay leaves, if using dried beans
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1/2 cup tarragon leaves
  • 1 teaspoon packed finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large lemon, juiced, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


(If using canned beans, drain and rinse. If using dried beans, soak in plenty of water for 6 hours or overnight.)

  1. Drain beans and transfer to a medium pot.  Cover beans by 2 inches with water and add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and the bay leaves. Simmer until just tender but not at all mushy, about 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending upon what kind of beans you’re using. Drain.
  2. Break off tough ends of the asparagus. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and prepare a bowl with ice and cold water. Blanch trimmed asparagus for 1 1/2 minutes, or until just cooked through but still firm, then plunge them into the ice bath. Let sit for 5 minutes, then drain. Pat dry and slice diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces.
  3. In a blender or food processor, combine tarragon, lemon zest, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, the black pepper and the lemon juice, and process until garlic is chopped. Pour in olive oil. Process until mixture is well blended and bright green, about 1 minute.4.In a large mixing bowl, gently toss together beans, asparagus and dressing. Taste and add more lemon juice and salt if needed.
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