White Bean Salad with Shrimp and Asparagus

I found this recipe in The Best of Cooking Light, 2003. It was so amazing, I’m making it for some company we’ll be having next week. A perfect salad with amazing balance of flavors and pretty quick to make as well.

I followed the recipe for the most part. I used arugula, in addition to the spinach, because I think everything is better with arugula. I used two pieces of bacon instead of three and regular green onion because I couldn’t find Vidalia green onions.

20150429_201440Ingredients:

2 cups (1-inch) sliced asparagus (about 1/2 pound)
3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cups torn spinach
1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 bacon slices
1/2 cup chopped Vidalia green onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Preparation:

  1. Steam asparagus, covered, 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Sprinkle shrimp with 1/8 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
  3. Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add shrimp; sauté 4 minutes.
  5. Remove from pan; place in a large bowl.
  6. Add asparagus, spinach, and beans to shrimp; toss well.
  7. Add bacon to pan; cook over medium heat until crisp.
  8. Remove bacon from pan; crumble.
  9. Reserve 2 teaspoons drippings in pan.
  10. Add onions and garlic; cook 3 minutes or until soft, stirring frequently.
  11. Remove from heat; add remaining pepper, 1/8 teaspoon salt, bacon, broth, and the remaining ingredients.
  12. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss to coat.
  13. Serve immediately.
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Pasta with Asparagus, Lemon and Prosciutto

I love to cook with the seasons, using ingredients at their freshest. I was flipping through April editions of Cooking Light and found this recipe from 2005. I was also inspired by a “cooking class” article (in this edition) by Susan Loomis who owns a cooking school in Louviers, Fance. Reading through her philosophy (using the freshest of ingredients, the importance of method, technique and layering flavors to create a harmonious whole) was a nice refresher and good read.

On to the recipe. I couldn’t find fresh fettuccine so opted for the boxed version. I still have lemons on my Meyers Lemon tree (which is really odd) so I was able to use them. I had some Pecorino left over and used some of that as well. Served with crusty rolls. Delicious.

Pasta with Asparagus

Ingredients:

1 (9-ounce) package fresh fettuccine
2 teaspoons olive oil
5 cups (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces very thin slices prosciutto, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
  2. While pasta cooks, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add asparagus and next 4 ingredients (asparagus through salt).
  4. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in prosciutto; cook, uncovered, for 1 minute.
  6. Combine asparagus mixture, pasta, and cheese in a large bowl, tossing to coat.