Roast

Asparagus & Crispy Beans With Mint & Grana Padano From Allison Arevalo

May 12, 2020
10 Ratings
Photo by Kristen Miglore.
Author Notes

Canned beans are a miracle of convenience. But their texture, as we know, can be hit or miss. Enter: this couldn’t-be-simpler trick for bringing out their best sides—golden, frizzled edges and molten middles. Scatter them on buttered noodles, garlicky greens, and fried eggs—but first, this springy and unconventional salad.

As Allison Arevalo writes in her book Pasta Friday, “The roasted beans here make an appearance in many of the recipes, and that’s because I eat them. All. The. Time. I eat them with pasta, with bread, with a spoon, and my picky children eat them, too, so they’re on a steady rotation at my house.

“This method works great with chickpeas, corona beans, nearly any beans. The trick is to get the beans dry. The drier they are, the crispier they get. Leave out the anchovies if you must, but I urge you to give them a try if you're on the fence! Just buy the good anchovies from Italy or Spain (I love the brands Ortiz and Anzienda ISAI). The cheap ones are like a salty punch in the face and are what give anchovies a bad name.”

What’s more, she wrote in an email: “You can easily make them on the stovetop, too, instead of the oven. Add the olive oil to a cast iron pan and sauté the rinsed and dried beans with some salt. Don’t stir them around too much, and let them get a nice golden crust.” Allison makes these beans at least twice a week, tossing the crispy beans with fettuccine and butter for her kids’ all-time favorite meal. She also loves them smashed on toast with olive oil.

And a few final tips: Brands of canned beans will vary in texture, but all will be improved by this technique. Allison likes Goya because they’re firmer and don’t fall apart as easily, but they will take a bit longer to crisp up. Try adding dried spices to the beans as they roast—Allison suggests smoked paprika, or other types of pepper like marash. And check out Heidi Swanson’s Pan-Fried Beans With Kale on Food52 for more seasoning ideas.

Recipe adapted slightly from The Pasta Friday Cookbook: Let's Eat Together (Andrews McMeel Publishing, September 2019).

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  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces asparagus
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces wild arugula
  • 3 ounces shaved Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 (1.6-ounce) can anchovies, drained, fillets rolled into little spirals (optional but recommended)
  • Flaky sea salt
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with towels, and spread the beans out to dry while the oven is heating.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the asparagus and blanch for 1 minute. Drain and quickly plunge the asparagus into an ice bath to cool. Cut lengthwise into 2-inch pieces.
  3. Remove the towels and keep the beans on the baking sheet. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the beans, season with 1 ½ teaspoons of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and toss to fully coat. Transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes, until browned and crisp. Remove and cool to room temperature.
  4. In a large bowl, place the arugula, asparagus, cheese, mint, and beans. Right before serving, slowly drizzle in about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and gently toss. Add a little more olive oil if it looks dry.
  5. Spread the salad on a large platter and scatter around the anchovies. Garnish with flaky sea salt.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • ellemmbee
    ellemmbee
  • Katherine Dean
    Katherine Dean
  • Rachel Weinberger
    Rachel Weinberger
  • Kristen Miglore
    Kristen Miglore
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

11 Reviews

ellemmbee May 28, 2020
Made it tonight and we both loved everything about it. Easily a meal in itself, but portioned as a side to some quickly roasted salmon (the oven was on anyway), it was a big hit. Will make often. Thanks!
 
Katherine D. May 26, 2020
This is delicious! I only had dry beans on hand so I soaked some overnight and it turned out great, though they were a tad firmer than I think canned beans would have been. Maybe a longer soak next time?
I didn't have any mint, but I do have a small basil plant, and it worked really nicely! I may have also added a dressing of lemon juice and olive oil + salt/pepper. I'm a sucker for a little dressing, and the acid brightened the salad a little in lieu of the anchovies.
10/10 would eat again, and can't wait to try it with mint next time!
 
elizabeth May 14, 2020
I love salads but must have some crunchy bits and the roasted beans are perfect, much healthier than croutons but also delicious. Didn't have cannellini so used pinto and they were very crispy. Thank you very much. I will be using this a lot.
 
Kristen M. May 15, 2020
So glad to hear it—thanks, Elizabeth!
 
Rachel W. May 14, 2020
Just tried the roasted beans. Garbanzos needed a few extra minutes but easy and delicious. Will definitely add to our list of good things to have around!
 
Kristen M. May 15, 2020
The best list!
 
dmkoenig May 14, 2020
I found this to be a very intriguing recipe, as a collective set of ingredients and because I never really blanch vegetables or roast beans and I rarely get to employ anchovies. I really enjoyed the arugula/mint combo. The roasted beans had a fun snacky texture but in a salad I prefer them in their original state. The blanching does a nice job of retaining texture but I would likely roast in the future. If I would do this over again I would make this more Greek style, using feta and adding a lemon-based dressing instead of just oil. Thanks for all the great ideas...
 
Kristen M. May 15, 2020
Great ideas, dmkoenig—thanks for sharing!
 
dmkoenig May 14, 2020
I found this to be a very intriguing recipe, as a collective set of ingredients and because I never really blanch vegetables or roast beans and I rarely get to employ anchovies. I really enjoyed the arugula/mint combo. The roasted beans had a fun snacky texture but in a salad I prefer them in their original state. The blanching does a nice job of retaining texture but I would likely roast in the future. If I would do this over again I would make this more Greek style, using feta and adding a lemon-based dressing instead of just oil. Thanks for all the great ideas...
 
randall B. May 13, 2020
Since the oven is on anyway for toasting the beans, why not help the environment and roast the asparagus in the same oven for the last 6-8minutes? No need to heat up a pot of water to blanch the asparagus when the oven can do the same job. Many may prefer roasted asparagus over blanched, too.
 
Kristen M. May 15, 2020
Great idea if you're looking for a softer, sweeter, roasted texture! And if you still want something closer to blanched but don't want to boil a pot of water, my dad always steamed asparagus in just a little water in the bottom of a lidded skillet.