Butterbean and asparagus salad with anchovy dressing

I don’t normally make salads – I do enjoy them, but I probably over think my menus when I plan meals, and inevitably, salads don’t make an appearance.

This, however, is about to change.   Since the weather warmed up a few weeks ago (this week is an exception, I turned the heating on this weekend), we’ve been eating a lot of cucumber, rocket and tomato salads.  I’ve been eyeing a can of butter beans for the past few days – wondering how best to use them (over thinking once again), when I decided today, wouldn’t they be great in a warm salad.  I combined the butter beans with rocket leaves, steamed asparagus, red onions and cranberries (as an afterthought) and tossed them with an anchovy dressing.  Absolutely delicious – I had the salad on the side with a  lamb burger.


  • a can of butter beans, drained
  • a bunch of asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • a handful of dried cranberries (optional)
  • a handful of rocket leaves (this came from the garden)
  • 1 cup cooked couscous
  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • a handful of chopped mint leaves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


    1. Boil a pot of water (say 1 1/2 cups)
    2. Cook the butter beans in the pot for 5 minutes
    3. Use a slotted spoon to remove the beans onto a big bowl
    4. Place a bamboo steamer on top of the pot and steam the asparagus for 5 minutes
    5. Remove the asparagus from the steamer and slice them diagonally into 1 inch bite sized portions
    6. Toss the asparagus, onions, rocket leaves, cranberries and couscous into the same bowl as the butter beans
    7. To make the dressing, slice the anchovy fillet thinly and place is into a bowl
    8. Add the minced garlic and mash together with the anchovy until combined
    9. Squeeze the lemon juice into the anchovy, and drizzle in the olive oil
    10. Mix the mint with the anchovy dressing and leave for 5 minutes
    11. Dress the salad with the anchovy dressing, season generously with salt and pepper


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