I wish I could adequately describe this shrimp and asparagus dish. White beans, good. Asparagus, love it. Shrimp, yes. Garlic? Lemon? Yes, yes.
But I had no idea how good it would be. No idea. And then something that tastes this good also looks this good- what? It looks like something that you’d get at a fancy restaurant. The type where I would probably see the waiter bring this and I’d roll my eyes a bit, thinking it’s one of those restaurants (you know, the kind that are more into presentation…).
But I would have no idea until the first bite. And you are going to want many bites of this. I promise.
As if flavor and presentation weren’t enough, how about simple and easy with pure ingredients? Oh, stop- it’s too much.
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). Then pureeing them in the pan with an immersion blender (you’ve gotten yours, right?), or a regular blender.
The second step is to make the light dressing with more wonderful lemon and garlic.
The last step is quickly cooking onions and then asparagus until just crisp-tender before adding the shrimp (or scallops). Since each step is quick, 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 (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.
I’m going to be making this a lot. When asparagus isn’t in season any more I’m going to move on to green beans. Then I might try broccoli, or cauliflower. And scallops. Snow peas, anyone? Oh yeah.
Shrimp (or Scallops) & Asparagus on White Bean Puree
- 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
- 1/2 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 or sea scallops
- Beans: Place the beans, 1 Tb. lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper, and 1 clove of the minced garlic in a medium saucepan. Add 1/2 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 1/2 tsp. salt, parsley, and 3 Tb. olive oil in a small glass measuring cup, whisking to emulsify. Set aside.
- Asparagus, etc.: Saute onions in 1 Tb. butter and 1 Tb. olive oil for 3-5 minutes. Add asparagus, stir, cover and cook for about 3 minutes or until just crisp-tender over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook until done (pre-cooked just needs to be heated through).
- To serve: Place about 1/2 cup of beans on each of four serving plates and divide the asparagus-shrimp mixture evenly. Then pour the dressing over the top of each and serve immediately.
Makes four servings