Asparagus and Mushrooms in mushroom broth with tender white beans


by: Jasmina

Save this dish for special occasions, when you won’t mind a little extra fuss. What better event to celebrate than the arrival in your market of local asparagus? Although fresh peas make an ideal partner for asparagus, they don't always appear in time, so I make this simple ragout with dried beans at the beginning of the season. My first choice is the pretty flageolet or any home-cooked bean that’s waiting for me in the freezer. When pressed for time, you can use organic canned cannellini beans. Vegan if made with olive oil and no cheese. This is a light dish even with the polenta, so plan an appetizer, such as crostini with chive-scented ricotta, perhaps a first-course vegetable salad, then splurge on a dessert of strawberries with a yeasted sugar cake. For wine, either a citrusy Giacosa Arneis white from the Piedmont or a fruity Giacosa Dolcetto would be good.


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serves: 4

(Polenta Cooked in the Double Boiler or) instant polenta

1 1/2 cups Mushroom Stock

1 1/2 pounds medium to large mushrooms, such as cremini or small portobellos

2 tablespoons olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 bunch of scallions (including an inch of the greens, minced)

1 clove garlic minced

1 1/2 cups cooked flageolet (or cannellini beans or 1 15-ounce can, drained)

2 1/2 pounds asparagus (tough ends snapped off and stalks peeled if thick, then soaked for 15 minutes and rinsed)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated or more to taste

1 tablespoon butter

(herbs in season, such as) snipped chives with chopped basil, marjoram, or chervil

Nutrition Facts
Asparagus and Mushrooms in mushroom broth with tender white beans

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 319

  • Total Fat: 17.3 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 6.3 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 24.4 mg
  • Sodium: 1075.6 mg
  • Total Carbs: 28.9 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 9.6 g
  •     Sugars: 12 g
  • Protein: 19.9 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  Start the polenta, then make the stock, adding any mushroom and asparagus trimmings to the pot as you work. If you’re using portobellos, scrape out the gills with a spoon, then thickly slice them.

2.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a wide saute pan over medium heat. Add half the mushrooms, season with a few pinches of salt and pepper, and saute until they’re well colored, 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape the mushrooms onto a plate, add the remaining oil to the pan, and cook the second half of the mushrooms. Combine the mushrooms in the pan, add most of the scallions and the garlic, and cook for another minute. Then pour in the stock and add the beans. Simmer until the mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and set aside.

3.  Simmer the asparagus in salted water in a skillet until tender, about 8 minutes, drain, turn onto a clean towel, and wrap to absorb the moisture and keep it warm. Check the seasonings in the polenta and stir in the Parmesan cheese.

4.  When ready to serve, add the butter and the remaining scallions to the mushrooms. Shuffle the pan to distribute the butter throughout the sauce. Spoon 1/2 cup or so of the polenta into the center of the plate. Arrange the asparagus around it and spoon the mushrooms and their sauce over the polenta. Garnish with the herbs and serve.

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