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Asparagus and White Bean Salad with Tarragon Pesto

This asparagus and white bean salad was very popular last weekend, and super easy and quick to make! We used canned beans and served it with couscous, but it would be good with any grain or pasta. We’ll be saving this one for future use at dinner church for sure.

Ingredients

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

Preparation

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

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

-Prepared with our help by Betsy, CJ and Mabel on Sunday June 2 and Monday June 3, 2013

Posted in: Recipes

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