Celebrate spring with this amazing recipe for lemony-garlic shrimp and asparagus with white bean puree that may just find you licking the plate.
Welcome to this week’s Tuesdays In The Garden. I’m excited to share with you my favorite dish made with one of spring’s first vegetables to produce in gardens lucky enough to grow it: asparagus. Asparagus is surprisingly easy to grow and comes back year after year with basic upkeep – learn more about growing it in The Ultimate Asparagus Guide: Grow, Harvest, Cook & Preserve. Find tips for more spring produce from our group after the recipe.
I wish I could adequately describe this shrimp and asparagus recipe to you. White beans, good. Asparagus, love it. Shrimp, yes. Garlic? Lemon? Yes, yes, it all seems like a nice combination, with the unique addition of the beans.
But I had no idea how good it would be. No idea. And then when something that tastes this good also looks this good- what? When you plate this up, it looks like something that you’d get at a fancy restaurant. The type where if I saw the waiter bringing this I’d roll my eyes a bit, thinking it’s one of those restaurants (you know, the kind that are more into presentation…).
All I would need, though, is one bite to understand that presentation and deliciousness can go hand in hand. And as long as you’re a fan of these ingredients like me, you are going to want many bites of this. I promise.
Shrimp and Asparagus with White Bean Puree
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As if flavor and presentation weren’t enough, how about simple and easy with whole food ingredients? Add some olive oil, butter, a bit of salt and pepper and maybe a red pepper flake or two and that’s the entire recipe right there.
Pretty, yummy, and uncomplicated. It just gets better.
This recipe consists of three very quick steps.
The first is briefly cooking the beans with garlic, lemon juice and water (I use the precooked beans I keep in the freezer, but canned would work, too) and puree them in the pan with an immersion blender (you’ve gotten yours, right?). If all you have is a regular blender, you’ll need to transfer the beans to the blender bowl first, but it works, too, just not quite as conveniently.
The second step is to whisk together the light dressing ingredients.
The third and final step is quickly cooking the onions and asparagus until just crisp-tender before adding the shrimp.
Since each step takes just a few minutes it all comes together in about 30 minutes.
To serve, place about 1/2 cup of the pureed beans on a plate, add some of the shrimp-asparagus mixture, and pour part of the dressing over the top.
And prepare to be amazed. Really, truly, honestly.
You will want to serve this with a good bread (easy artisan is of course my fav) to soak up all the beany-dressing goodness. Again, trust me on this, it’s either bread or licking the plate, so make it easy on your family and guests.
You’ve probably have figured out that I’ve made this a lot. When asparagus isn’t in season any more I make it with green beans and I think it would be a good with snow peas in later spring, too. I even made it once with small scallops. It’s all good.
- 3-4 cups cooked white beans (or about 2 cans)
- 4 Tb. lemon juice, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced and divided
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- ½ tsp. pepper
- pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
- ½ c. water
- 4 Tb. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 Tb. chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Tb. butter
- 1 onion, cut in half then sliced thinly
- 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut in 3 to 4 inch pieces*
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined**
- Beans: Place the beans, 1 Tb. lemon juice, ½ tsp.each salt and pepper, 1 clove of the minced garlic, an optional red pepper flakes in a medium saucepan. Add ½ cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and puree with a handheld immersion blender (if using a regular blender or food processor, return beans to pan after pureeing). Keep warm over lowest heat.
- Dressing: Combine the remaining minced garlic clove and 3 Tb. lemon juice along with ½ tsp. salt, parsley, and 3 Tb. olive oil in a small glass measuring cup, whisking to emulsify. Set aside.
- Vegetables & Shrimp: Saute onions in 1 Tb. butter and 1 Tb. olive oil for 3-5 minutes over medium heat. Stir in asparagus, cover and cook for about 3-4 minutes just until crisp-tender. Add shrimp and cook until they turn pink, 1-2 minutes (pre-cooked shrimp only needs to be heated through).
- To serve: Place a quarter of the beans on each of four serving plates and divide the asparagus-shrimp mixture evenly. Pour the dressing over the top of each and serve immediately.
**This also is wonderful with scallops. Cook just the same as shrimp.
Tuesdays In The Garden
Click on over to these other lovely blogs and check out more ideas for spring gardening, growing and cooking.
Favorite spinach recipes at Hearth and Vine
Tips for growing peas at The Freckled Rose
Recipe Ingredients to Grow at Creative Living with Bren Haas
Tips for growing kale at Frugal Family Home
Where to buy heirloom seedlings at Simplify Live Love
Tips for growing rhubarb at Homemade Food Junkie
Note: this recipe was originally published in 2010 and has been updated with all new photos, formatting and printable recipe. Enjoy!
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