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Adapted from "License to Grill" by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby.

Yield: 4 servings
Wine Suggestion
1998 Domaine LaBorne Muscadet, Pauvert, France

16 spears asparagus, bottom 1/4 inch trimmed
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 bunches arugula, trimmed and washed
1 cup cooked or canned white beans (rinsed if canned)
1 small red onion, peeled and diced small
1/2 pound pancetta, thinly sliced, cooked in a 350°F oven for 6 to 8 minutes, or until
crispy (bacon may be substituted), and drained on paper towels
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste


1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 cloves garlic
2 1/2 Tablespoons fresh basil, roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper

To make the dressing, in a food processor or blender combine all of the ingredients except the basil and purée until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the basil, cover and refrigerate.

Fill a sink or large pot with ice and water. In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch asparagus until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and plunge into the ice water to stop the cooking, and drain again. Rub the asparagus with the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and grill over a medium-hot fire, turning frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until well seared.

Combine the arugula, white beans and onion in a medium bowl. Stir the dressing well, then pour just enough on the arugula-bean mixture to moisten the ingredients (some dressing will probably be left over). Toss well, place on a serving platter or individual plates. Top with the pancetta and asparagus and serve.