Asparagus & White Bean Salad

Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies.  I could eat it several times a week, and in the spring/early summer, I usually do.  There are just so many great ways to prepare it, my favorite just being roasted with some garlic and cheese.  This healthy little salad is a really fabulous way to enjoy asparagus, and in my opinion, packs enough protein to suffice as a lunch.

you will need:
1 bunch fresh asparagus (about 1 lb)
drizzle of olive oil
½ red onion, thinly sliced (I use a mandoline)
15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
juice of ½ a lemon
juice of ½ an orange
2 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
¼ cup shaved pecorino romano
1/4 cup slivered basil
salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Rinse the asparagus and snap off the coarse ends.  Boil a pot of water.  Once boiling, toss in the asparagus and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, until cooked but still nice and crisp.  Immediately strain and plunge into a bowl of ice water; this stops the cooking process and maintains the crunch that you want.

Dependent on the thickness of your asparagus you can do one of two things, either shave it or cut into 1 inch pieces.  I did a combination of the two.  If you shave the asparagus, hold each spear by its thick stem and lay it down on a cutting board. Using a vegetable peeler, shave asparagus into long ribbons. Place ribbons in a large bowl and discard remaining stems.  This is difficult if the asparagus stems are skinny.  Do whichever is easier!

Drizzle oil over asparagus and toss to coat. Add onion, beans, lemon juice and vinegar. Toss to combine.  Fold in walnuts, cheese and basil. Season with salt and pepper.

It tastes great room temperature but can easily be prepared in advance and served chilled.

serves: 4
time: 25 minutes
adapted from: Clean Eating

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