Arugula with Pancetta, Grilled Asparagus
and White Beans
Adapted from "The Thrill of the Grill"
by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby


Yield: 4 servings

  • 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.

Wine Suggestion

1998 Domaine LaBorne Muscadet, Pauvert, France

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