Stir-Fried Asparagus with Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing

From Julie Van Rosendaal

2012 May/Jun

This unique dish made with brown rice and chickpeas is a perfect fit for snappy asparagus. The lemony tahini dressing is delicious with plain steamed or roasted stalks, too. Adapted from the brilliant food blog


  • canola or olive oil
  • 1 19 oz. can chickpeas, drained well
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2-3 c. cooked brown rice, chilled
  • 1/2 c. sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
  • Tahini Dressing:
  • 1/4 c. tahini
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. hot water
  • 1 garlic clove, finely crushed
  • pinch salt


Heat a generous drizzle of oil in a large, heavy skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the chickpeas and cook them for a few minutes, until they start turning golden. Add the garlic and a bit of salt and cook until the chickpeas are they’re nicely golden and getting crispy. Transfer them to a shallow bowl.

Add the onions to the pan, along with a little more oil if you need it. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until they get soft and start to turn golden. Add the asparagus to the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, covered, to allow the asparagus to brighten and soften a bit. Dump the asparagus into the bowl with the chickpeas.

Add another slick of oil to the skillet and cook the rice for a few minutes, just to warm it through and brown it a bit. (Starting with cold rice means the grains will be more separate, and won’t clump together as you cook them.) Return the chickpeas, onions and asparagus to the pan and toss them together to warm everything through. To make the dressing, shake the tahini dressing ingredients in a jar. Serve the chick peas and asparagus in shallow bowls, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with almonds. Pass extra dressing at the table. Serves 4.