White Bean, Asparagus, & Tomato Salad with Arugula Pesto

Lines Written in Early Spring

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ‘tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played:
Their thoughts I cannot measure,
But the least motion which they made,
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

-William Wordsworth, 1798

A Springtime salad that both celebrates the flavors of the season and satiates the palette.

White Bean, Asparagus, & Tomato Salad with Arugula Pesto
serves 4-6

1 15oz can of cannellini beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
1lb asparagus, ends trimmed & cut into 2″ pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes (preferably mixed colors for aesthetic purposes), halved
1 bunch of chives, chopped
a handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
sea salt & cracked pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment & toss asparagus with a little olive oil and season with sea salt and cracked pepper. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the asparagus is tender, but still a little crunchy.
  2. In a large serving bowl, combine cannellini beans, asparagus, tomatoes, chives and 1/3-1/2 cup of the pesto (recipe below); add pesto to your taste preference. Season with salt, pepper, and scatter with parsley to serve.

Arugula Pesto

4 cups of arugula
3 TBL raw sunflower seeds
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
sea salt & cracked pepper

  1. Add arugula, seeds, garlic, sea salt and cracked pepper into a food processor. With the motor running, add oil. Store in the refrigerator, with a little olive oil to cover the pesto. There will probably be a some left overs from the salad.

Suggestions: add the pesto to mayonnaise or Vegenaise for a pesto-mayo dip for vegetables or on sandwiches or spread on some toast and top with tomato slices.


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