Nutrition Ambition

Welcome to my vegan food blog! When it comes to food, my philosophy is that taking time to lovingly prepare your own meals can result in better health and greater life satisfaction. I use natural, whole ingredients to create nourishing, exciting meals which replenish mind, body and spirit. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

White Beans and Asparagus with Lemon-Mint Dressing

Today we received our first CSA box of the season! I was very excited. If you don't know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and is a way for people to support local (often organic) farmers. It's a great way to reduce the amount of energy it takes for your food to get to your table, as well as get to know where your food comes from.

In our box this week, we got spinach, lettuce, radishes, arugula, rhubarb, green garlic (which is actually the immature garlic plant picked before it forms the garlic bulb. It looks a lot like a scallion but has a very strong garlic flavor.) and asparagus. I wish I had my camera (I know, I know, I've been saying I'm getting a camera now for awhile, but soon, I promise) because one of the asparagus spears was HUGE--at least 1/2 inch thick! I'm telling you, this was the best asparagus I've ever had.

I created this recipe as a simple way to utilize the fresh, clean flavors of the asparagus and green garlic. I've never cooked with green garlic before, so I just used one, but I think two or three would have been great--the strong garlic taste mellows quite a bit out once cooked. Serve this deliciousness over a bed of fresh spinach with a slice of whole grain bread on the side.

You have to make this! I suggest doubling the recipe, because several hours after eating it, I'm craving more! The rich, buttery white beans contrast perfectly with the crisp-tender fresh taste of the asparagus, and the lemon and mint add a nice fresh burst of flavor. It's perfect.

White Beans and Asparagus with Mint-Lemon Dressing
Ingredients (Serves 2 as a main dish)
* 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided use)
* 1-3 green garlics or 1 clove regular garlic, chopped
* 1 LB fresh asparagus, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces
* generous pinch of salt
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 (15 oz) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* black pepper, to taste
* 2 tablespoons fresh mint, julienned
In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and add the garlic. Saute for one minute, then add the asparagus, salt and water. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover and let steam for 3-5 minutes (depending on how large your asparagus are). Add the beans and simmer uncovered, another 3-5 minutes. In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, remaining olive oil, mint and black pepper. When the beans and asparagus are done (do not overcook the asparagus!!) stir in the dressing and serve immediately.


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