Asparagus and Giant White Bean Salad on Crostini

Commuting to Philadelphia for work had its perks, particularly the city’s vibrant food scene. Between Old City and the numerous city squares, there were endless culinary adventures to be had. One of my favorite spots was Tria, a cozy place specializing in small plates and an excellent wine selection. I found myself visiting at least once a week.

One dish that stood out to me was a simple yet flavorful combination of asparagus, tomatoes, onion, artichoke hearts, and the largest white beans I had ever seen, all tossed in a light balsamic dressing and served with warm toasted crostini. This dish became my go-to small plate, perfectly paired with a glass of wine to unwind after a busy week and catch up with colleagues.

Inspired by this delightful dish, I recreated it at home and even used it in competitions as part of a composite entry, including the World Food Championship, where it consistently earned top finishes.

Ingredients

  • Fresh Asparagus
  • Giant White Beans (We found these from Divina work well)
  • White Onion
  • Multi Color Cherry Tomatoes
  • Balsamic Dressing of Choice
  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Toasted Crostinis

Instructions

Prepare the Vegetables:

  • Chop the asparagus into 1/2-inch sections.
  • Dice the white onion.
  • Quarter the cherry tomatoes.
  • Slice the artichoke hearts and remove the stem base.

Combine Ingredients:

  • In a large bowl, combine the chopped asparagus, diced onion, quartered tomatoes, sliced artichoke hearts, and white beans. If you are using a large can of Divina white beans, you will likely need only a couple of cups, but feel free to adjust the quantities to your preference.

Dress the Salad:

  • Add balsamic dressing to taste and toss everything together until well coated.

Chill the Salad (Optional):

  • For an extra crisp and refreshing taste, chill the salad in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. If you’re preparing ahead of time, it can be chilled for several hours.

Serve:

  • Serve the salad on toasted crostinis for a delightful appetizer, or enjoy it alone as a refreshing side dish.

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