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Runner Bean and Raw Asparagus Salad


Like almost everyone else, I have been enamored with Joshua McFadden's cookbook, Six Seasons. At first I resisted. Seasonal market cooking. Really? Again? Yes, really. The story is the seasons but in the end, it's simply a great book for people who find the produce section the most interesting part of food shopping. The recipes are simple and straightforward without a lot of chef-y pretense and my copy, less than a year old, is filthy from use. Splattered with some really good memories.

One of my favorite recipes has been this raw asparagus salad, tarted up by me with some leftover beans. This makes it a perfect midweek meal in my book.

Adapted from a recipe by Joshua McFadden (Six Seasons, Artisan Books, 2017)


  • 1/3 cup dried breadcrumbs 
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 
  • 1/2 cup chopped lightly toasted black walnuts 
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed 
  • 1 cup cooked Rancho Gordo Ayocote Morado, Ayocote Negro, Scarlet Runner, or Buckeye (aka Yellow Indian Woman) beans 
  • About 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil 

Serves 2-4

  1. In a large serving bowl, toss the breadcrumbs, cheese, walnuts, lemon zest, mint leaves, salt and pepper. Mix well. 
  2. Cut the asparagus on a sharp angle into very thin slices. In another bowl, combine the asparagus with the beans, the lemon juice and some olive oil. Just before serving, add the asparagus-bean mixture to the serving bowl and toss well. Check for seasoning, adding more olive oil, lemon or salt as needed.


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