Asparagus, Chickpeas & Olives

Kirstin, It's Not You, It's Brie

June is the last time to take advantage of the last of spring’s produce. As summer takes over the farmers’ market with tomatoes, zucchini and stone fruit, spring’s fresh, delicate flavors of pea shoots, fava beans and asparagus begin to quiet to a whisper until the next year.

This is around the time when my father brings home two bunches of asparagus every week, leaving it up to my mother to figure out new ways to prepare the vegetable eight times a month. With a bunch or five in the crisper at the end of June, it’s pretty much a given that asparagus is going to be on our father’s day menu. Because my folks normally eat asparagus steamed with a little butter or with mayonnaise, I try to mix it up a little for dad’s big event and lean towards Mediterranean flavors like olives and chickpeas.

Asparagus, Chickpeas & Olives

By Kirstin
Serves 4


1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
15 oil-cured olives
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon


Preheat broiler.

Place asparagus on a foil-lined cookie sheet and season with the salt and pepper. Broil 5-7 minutes, until lightly browned and still firm to the bite, yet tender.

While asparagus is cooking, pit the olives. Pressing with the palm of your hand against the thickest part of a heavy chefs knife, crush the olives with the butt of the knife. Remove the pits. Roughly chop the olives.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add olives, garbanzo beans and lemon juice. Cook for five minutes. Add tarragon. Spoon mixture over cooked asparagus. Serve while hot or at room temperature.

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