Great Northern Bean and Asparagus Salad with Tarragon-Lemon Dressing

Great Northern Bean and Asparagus Salad with Tarragon-Lemon Dressing

One of my favorite vegetables is asparagus, so I’m very glad it is in season right now! I came across this delicious and healthy recipe on my Facebook feed. This wonderful salad is by Melissa Clark, New York Times Cooking. Since my cooking style is easy and organic when possible, I used canned organic Great Northern beans. But what makes this dish fabulous is the fresh tarragon, lemon and garlic dressing. I reduce the amount of salt and olive oil by half, so you may want to adjust it to your own personal tastes. You won’t be disappointed with this simple, flavorful and spring salad!

Great Northern Bean and Asparagus Salad with Tarragon-Lemon Dressing

Great Northern Bean and Asparagus Salad with Tarragon-Lemon Dressing

 

Great Northern Bean and Asparagus Salad with Tarragon-Lemon Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans organic Great Northern beans
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • ½ cup tarragon leaves
  • 1 teaspoon packed finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large lemon + more to taste, juiced
  • ¼ cup organic extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Trim off the tough ends of the asparagus. Boil or steam asparagus, until just cooked through, but still firm. Immediately place in a bowl of ice water. After 5 minutes, remove from the water and dry with paper towels. Slice on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Rinse beans with water and drain. Set aside.
  3. In a blender, add tarragon, lemon zest, garlic, salt, black pepper, and lemon juice. Blend together for 1 minute.
  4. In a large bowl, gently toss together beans and asparagus with dressing. Taste and add more lemon juice and salt, if needed.

 

Great Northern Bean and Asparagus Salad with Tarragon-Lemon Dressing

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Green Beans and Asparagus with Sesame Chile Oil

Green Beans and Asparagus with Sesame Chili OIl

At my bi-weekly trip to Trader Joe’s, I found my favorite type of green beans, haricot verts, available. I thought I would stir fry them with the asparagus that I already had at home. So when I got home, I decided to season the vegetables with some sesame chili oil for a little heat and orange vest and juice for a little sweetness. This simple and healthy side dish would go great with chicken or shrimp!

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Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces green beans (I used haricots verts), trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 6 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon organic canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame chili oil

Directions:

  1. Using a medium pot, steam the green beans and asparagus for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are al dente.
  2. In a medium-large non-stick frying pan, heat canola and sesame chili oils. Add the vegetables and sauté until they are heated through. Add salt to taste.
  3. Transfer to serving dish, drizzle with orange juice and sprinkle with orange zest. Serve immediately. 4 servings.

Green Beans and Asparagus with Sesame Chili Oil

Bibb Salad with Radishes and Asparagus

Bibb Salad

This is a quick and simple salad to prepare during the busy work week. There is a total of only eight ingredients, including the salt and pepper! You can even slice the radishes and asparagus and make the salad dressing in advance. It can’t get any easier and delicious than this. This recipe was so simple and healthy that I couldn’t even make any changes to it! It came from Martha Stewart, Everyday Food, published April 2010.

Bibb Salad with Radishes and Aspargus

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 heads Bibb lettuce (depending on the size), torn into bite-size pieces
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 4 asparagus stalk, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Directions:

Using a medium-large bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then mix in lettuce, radishes and asparagus. Toss together and serve immediately. Serves 4.

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Asparagus and Carrot Salad

Asparagus and Carrot Salad

One of my many food eating goals this year is to eat more foods that are “raw” and of course, simple. With the growing season upon us, the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables is fabulous at our local markets. Since this is the best time for asparagus, I want to eat it as much as possible. To me,  it doesn’t taste very good raw, but it is wonderful when lightly streamed, until it is al dente. So I decided to prepare it with a lemony vinaigrette and carrots for sweetness and color. It is served cold, so it can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to serve. This is a delicious and healthy side dish for indoor or outdoor entertaining!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin organic olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Trim off the tough ends of the asparagus. Stream the vegetable for about 4 minutes, until it is al dente. Remove from heat and place on a plate to let it cool.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and red onion. Add salt and pepper to taste and blend thoroughly.
  3. Cut asparagus on the diagonal about ¼-inch thick. Place in a large bowl. Stir in dressing and gently mix. Add carrots on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 4.

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Roasted Sesame Asparagus

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Asparagus is now in season and is one of my favorite vegetables to eat! This side dish is not only easy to make during the busy work week, but it is delicious as well. I used grapeseed oil, because it tastes similar to olive oil and can withstand the higher roasting temperatures. It is seasoned only with some sea salt and toasted sesame seeds, so simple, healthy and yummy to eat! I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart, Everyday Food, March 2004.

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Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds (thin) asparagus, cut into 2″ lengths and ends trimmed
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (just enough to coat the asparagus)
  • Sea salt
  • 1½ teaspoons sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, toss asparagus with the oil and season with salt.
  3. Place vegetable in a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir the asparagus and sprinkle with the sesame seeds and roast for another 5 minutes, until it is lightly brown. Serve immediately. 4 servings.

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