Asparagus, Cannellini Bean & Sourdough Salad

Asparagus Cannellini Bean Sourdough Salad

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. 

Asparagus, Cannellini Bean & Sourdough Salad

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.

Asparagus, Cannellini Bean & Sourdough Salad

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. 


Asparagus, Cannellini Bean & Sourdough Salad

Asparagus Cannellini Bean Sourdough Salad
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 17-18 minutes
  • Total Time: 22-23 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 24 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.

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