If I had to choose grains or beans, I would be in the bean camp. They are so creamy and delicious! Oftentimes when I see a yummy pasta dish I will replace the pasta with beans. That’s what I did with this recipe and you can totally do it, too.
I do realize that beans and grains together are also pretty dreamy; I could not stop eating this dish straight out of the pan. But if I had to choose on or the other…beans would win. This says a lot since I grew up eating pasta by the pound!
I was inspired to make this Asparagus and White Bean saute while perusing my neighborhood Whole Foods. They have a bulk dried bean bar and I can’t seem to walk by it without bringing home a new variety. I usually take a picture of the label so I remember what I bought when I get home. I haven’t made the “Tongues of Fire” beans yet but they are next in the rotation. The beans I used in my Asparagus and White Bean recipe are called white runner beans. They are an off-white colored bean with a delicious creamy flavor. I was inspired by the fact that they turned bright white when soaked. They are very similar to a lima bean but but are a little bigger and creamier.
This dish was so simple to whip up! I just sauteed the veggies with the beans and then tossed them with the cilantro pesto. I hope you will experiment with dried beans this summer!
Asparagus and White Beans with Cilantro Pesto
- 1 pound white runner beans
- 1 pound asparagus chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
For the Pesto:
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- dash sea salt and pepper
To prepare the beans, cover and soak for 3 to 8 hours (or overnight) at room temperature. When ready to cook, drain and rinse beans well and place in a large pot, covering beans by about 2 inches of water. Season with salt and simmer 40 minutes or until tender. Drain.
To prepare the pesto, place ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until well combined.
To prepare vegetables, melt coconut oil in saute pan. Add chopped asparagus and saute until softened. Then add cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes more. Stir in 2 or so cups of beans with the pesto and stir well. Cook everything together for a few minutes and serve!