While this dish can be made any time of year, it especially shines in the spring when fresh asparagus and those lovely, thin green beans are at their peak! And while fresh herbs give the lemony vinaigrette a burst of flavor, you won’t be disappointed if you don’t have fresh herbs…just use dried ones. The flavor is a bit deeper, but still yummy.
If you don’t have a “hunk” of Parmesan, you can garnish generously with grated Parmesan. But shavings of Parmesan-peeled off of a “hunk” of Parm with a vegetable peeler–offer more flavor. So if possible, just shave off some pieces, and then crumble it a bit if they’re too big.
I’ve served this dish both warm–and cold, like a salad. It’s delicious either way. How convenient is that?
Yield: Serves 8
- 2 lbs./1 kilo fresh green beans or asparagus–or a combination of them
- 1/2 C. slivered almonds or pine nuts, lightly toasted in a pan or oven
- 1/2 C. shaved Parmesan
- 1/4 C. fresh parsley (one small handful; or 1 T. dried parsley)
- 1/4 C. fresh basil leaves (one small handful; or 1 tsp. dried)
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 1/2 C. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 small clove garlic
- Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Alternately, if you do not have fresh herbs, combine the dry herbs with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and minced garlic in a glass jar. Shake to combine and set aside to marinate the flavors.
- Trim the stems from the green beans; snap the ends off of the asparagus. If the asparagus are large, cut them in half lengthwise so they are similar in size and shape to the beans.
- Steam or oven-roast the vegetables separately, just until crisp tender. If steamed, drain well and dry them on a dish towel. Then place them in a bowl, drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss to coat thoroughly. Sprinkle with most of the almonds or pine nuts and the shaved Parmesan. Toss once more and then garnish with the remaining nuts and cheese.
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