Asparagus and Butter Bean Salad
Source: Jesse Branstetter, San Francisco Chef
Serves 8 to 10
2 pounds dried butter beans
2 cups yellow onions, diced
½ bulb garlic, plus 2 cloves, minced
1 bunch oregano, finely chopped
4 lemons, zested
2 egg yolks
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 ½ cups olive oil
2 bunches asparagus
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, for seasoning, halved
½ pound arugula
½ lemon, juiced
2 roasted red bell peppers
1 cup coarse bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
For the beans
- Soak butter beans for four hours. Rinse the beans before use. In a large pot, sweat the onions and garlic (reserving 2 cloves of garlic for the vinaigrette). Add the rinsed beans to the onions along with half of the oregano, finely chopped. Cover with water and bring to a slow simmer. Cook for approximately 3 hours until beans are very tender.
- Remove from the stove and let the liquid cool. Once the beans have cooled, gently rinse and drain them thoroughly and fold in the lemon zest.
For the vinaigrette
- In a food processor or by hand with a whisk, mix the egg yolks with the lemon juice and two finely minced garlic cloves.Continue mixing, and slowly drizzle the olive oil into mixture to create an emulsification.
- Fold in the chopped oregano and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Season the asparagus with salt, pepper and 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Grill or sauté asparagus.
- Dress the beans with the lemon oregano vinaigrette.
- Toss the arugula with 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Plate the arugula and asparagus, top with a large spoonful of beans and garnish with roasted red pepper and bread crumbs.