Asparagus with Gremolata and Cannellini Bean Puree

Source: Dr. Linda Shiue, Spicebox Kitchen

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated at the Foodwise Classroom on April 13, 2024.

Serves 8 as side dish


1 pound asparagus, trimmed
¼ tsp salt plus a pinch for garnish
ice bath
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

For the gremolata:
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Peel of 2 lemons

For the puree:
1 can low sodium or no salt added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed with the cooking
liquid reserved
1 tbsp basil, minced
1 tbsp Italian parsley or cilantro, minced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


Start by making the gremolata. Use a vegetable peeler to peel thin ribbons of lemon peel. Use a paring knife to remove excess pith (the white inner part) if needed. Chop finely.

Chop the minced garlic, parsley and lemon peel together on a cutting board until well combined. Transfer to a bowl.

Make the puree by placing beans, herbs, and garlic into the bowl of a food processor (or use a mixing bowl with an immersion/stick blender).

Add 2 tbsp of the reserved cooking liquid. Process for a few seconds at a time to desired texture. I like mine to be on the coarse/rustic side.

Stir in 3-4 tbsp of olive oil and additional cooking liquid, to taste and desired consistency.

Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside.

To cook the asparagus: Trim off the tough, woody ends of the asparagus and discard. Set a large pot of water over medium high heat.

Once it comes to a good rolling boil, add salt and the asparagus spears. Cook for just a minute or two, until tender and bright green. Use tongs to immediately transfer into an ice bath for 30 seconds, then transfer again to a towel to dry.

Toss with olive oil in a mixing bowl.

Assemble and serve: Use the back of a spoon to place a “swoosh” of puree on a serving platter. Arrange asparagus on top of the puree on the platter.

Top the asparagus with a scattering of gremolata and a pinch affine kosher salt. Serve at room temperature.

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