April is the prime month for asparagus, nutritionally rich with strong antioxidant properties. Look for firm but tender stalks with closed tips, and eat as soon as possible – if you need to store it, wrap a damp paper towel around the bottom of stalks in the refrigerator.
1 bunch asparagus, ends removed, and cut into strips of about 1 inch
½ lb green beans, ends removed and cut into strips of about I inch
7 artichoke hearts in oil, drained and cut into 8 wedges each
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1 tbsp capers, drained and chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
Boil a medium sized pot of water; when water comes to boil, add 1/4 cup of salt. Have a colander and a medium bowl of ice water ready.
As water comes to a boil, cut asparagus and green beans into strips of about 1 inch.
Submerge beans and asparagus into the boiling water and stir. Cook for about 40 seconds, then strain and chill in ice water.
Combine artichoke hearts, capers, pine nuts, thyme, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.
Strain the asparagus and green beans, pat dry and add to the artichoke hearts mixture. Toss, and add salt and pepper to taste.