Asparagus with Navy Beans
20 Min

Asparagus with Navy Beans

Asparagus, synonymous with spring, grows well in coastal climates, has an extensive culinary history and is exceptionally nutritious. There are recipes from the Roman Empire in some of our earliest recorded cookbooks, amorous for asparagus. In the culinary world, asparagus at one point was a delicacy, but now with global farming and distribution, it’s considered commonplace and reserved as an accompaniment.To showcase this lovely vegetable, I wanted to bring out not only its earthy qualities but its delicate woody bitterness. Pairing with creamy navy beans — that are brightened with citrus and popped spices — lends substantial flavor and a wonderful juxtaposed texture to the al dente asparagus. This dish is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with dietary fiber and many essential vitamins. I could eat this as an entrée all to myself.

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Cook Time

20 Minutes



Step 1
Toss asparagus with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes in a 350°F oven. Set aside.
Step 2
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan. Just before the oil reaches smoke point, add cumin seeds. Immediately add the beans, ginger, serrano, and salt (to taste). Sauté for a few seconds, then add 3/4 cup water. Let cook for 1 minute and then mash a few of the beans to get a creamier consistency.
Step 3
Finish by topping the bed of asparagus with the navy beans. Garnish with lemon juice and chopped cilantro.
1 bunch asparagus, bottoms trimmed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 can white navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/2 serrano pepper, minced fine
1/2 lemon, juiced for garnish
Chopped cilantro for garnish

Notes & Variations

  • Cook asparagus for 2 to 3 minutes to achieve a softer texture.
  • Garnish with lemon zest for an extra pop of citrus. Do this before juicing.
  • Replace the navy beans with a favorite varietal of bean or with lentils.
20 Min

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