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Recipe courtesy of Natalie Gutenkauf

Open-Faced Asparagus Sandwich

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 days 2 hr 15 min (includes infusing and cooling times)
  • Active: 1 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 10 sandwiches
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Hops Oil:

About 4 cups fresh hops (see Cook's Note)

12 whole lemons (zest, rinds and juice will be used throughout the recipe)

About 3 1/2 cups olive oil


1 1/2 cups dried Great Northern white beans

1 cup tightly packed fresh basil

5 garlic cloves

1/2 cup olive oil

Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper

Citrus Shallot Dressing:

Zest and juice of 10 oranges

1 cup olive oil

5 shallots, finely diced

Roasted Red Bell Peppers:

4 red bell peppers

Olive oil, for drizzling

Kosher salt


Olive oil, for drizzling

40 spears asparagus, trimmed (4 per sandwich)

1 red onion, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper

5 whole ciabatta loaves, sliced in half lengthwise

2 1/2 cups arugula

40 pear tomatoes, sliced in half

2 Fresno chiles, seeded and thinly sliced into rounds


  1. For the hops oil: Fill a glass bottle to the top with the hops, about 4 cups depending on the size of the bottle. Zest and juice 10 of the lemons and reserve for the citrus shallot dressing. Juice the remaining 2 lemons and reserve 1/2 cup juice for the hummus. Slice the lemon rinds and add them to the bottle. Add the olive oil until the bottle is full. Turn the bottle upside down so the hops and rinds float upwards, infusing the oil. The longer the oil sits, the stronger the flavor. Infuse for a minimum of 48 hours, turning the bottle several times a day.
  2. For the hummus: Pour the beans into a large stockpot. Cover with cold water until the water line is about 3 inches above the beans. Partially cover the stockpot with a lid and bring the water to a boil over medium-low heat. Simmer the beans slowly so they don't crack and break, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. If the water has been completely absorbed but the beans don't seem tender, add a bit of warm water and continue cooking to the desired texture. Drain any excess water and pour the beans onto a cookie sheet in an even layer to cool.
  3. For the citrus shallot dressing: Add the orange zest and juice to a mixing bowl with the reserved zest and juice of 10 lemons. Add the olive oil and shallots and use a whisk or blender to mix together. Refrigerate until using.
  4. To finish the hummus, puree the basil and garlic in a blender or food processor. Add the cooled beans and process. While the blender is running, gradually add the reserved 1/2 cup lemon juice and the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until using.
  5. For the roasted red bell peppers: Roast the peppers by placing them on an open gas flame, turning them frequently with tongs, until all sides are charred black, 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Peel the peppers, removing the skins, seeds and stems. Dice the peppers, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Set aside.
  6. For the sandwiches: Prepare a grill to medium-high heat.
  7. Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus spears and red onion slices. Season with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables about 1 minute per side. Grill each side of the ciabatta halves until lightly browned.
  8. To assemble: Spread a small amount of hummus in the middle of each plate to keep the sandwich from sliding around when fully assembled. Place a grilled ciabatta half on top of the hummus and spread a generous amount of hummus on top of each ciabatta half, about 1/4 cup. Add some roasted red bell peppers and grilled red onions.
  9. In a small bowl, toss the arugula in the citrus shallot dressing. Pile up some arugula on top of each bread piece, followed by 4 spears of grilled asparagus. Finish with the pear tomatoes and sliced Fresno chiles. Lightly drizzle the hops oil over the sandwiches. Season with salt and coarsely ground black pepper.

Cook’s Note

Fresh hops can be purchased from a home brew store.