Last Friday I had trouble sleeping. It wasn’t because my mind was racing with anxiety or nerves. Nope.
It was actually just pure excitement. I couldn’t contain myself.
Saturday morning was the official start of outdoor farmers market season in Chicago. It was a day I had been waiting for since the last market in October 2016.
My countdown clock had been slowly ticking down.
I absolutely live for the farmers market. Making it to at least two per week is always my goal.
I find it so relaxing to shop in the sunshine and chat with the farmers at the different stands.
Yes, markets appear indoors in the slog from November to April, but it isn’t the same feeling. Of course I do appreciate the effort!
I like to be part of the early crowd arriving before 8am.
The almost glove-worthy weather was windy and cool, but I didn’t mind. My joy kept me comfortable and warm.
The selection was dominated by greens with a few pops of color here and there. This is what happens every year. It takes a good month or so for the selection to look like a bountiful harvest.
How To Make Asparagus, Cannellini Bean & Sourdough Salad
I bought a couple bunches of slender asparagus. They were so fresh they didn’t require much work.
When I got home I made an asparagus, cannellini bean & sourdough salad with Parmesan and scallions.
I started by toasting torn chunks of sourdough bread, also a market purchase, in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Since it was pretty chilly, I grilled the asparagus on my gill pan on the stove. I then sliced the asparagus and combined it with the bread and beans.
I finished the bowl off with scallions, chives, Parmesan, lemon juice and olive oil.
It turned out to be a spring version of a panzanella salad.Print
Asparagus, Cannellini Bean & Sourdough Salad
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 17-18 minutes
- Total Time: 22-23 minutes
- Yield: Serves 2–4 1x
6 ounces sourdough bread, torn into rough pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for serving
1 teaspoon black pepper plus more for serving
1/2 pound asparagus, bottom ends trimmed
3/4 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh chives
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Juice of half a lemon
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Place the bread on a sheet pan and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake the bread until it toasted and deep golden brown, about 15 minutes, stirring halfway through baking.
For the asparagus, preheat a grill pan over medium high heat. Toss the asparagus with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Lightly grill the asparagus, until it is warm, but is still a bit crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Slice the asparagus into 1-inch pieces
In a large bowl, combine the toasted bread, asparagus, cannellini beans, scallions, chives and Parmesan. Stir in the remaining olive oil and lemon juice. Taste and season with additional salt & pepper before serving.