If using canned beans, drain and rinse.
2. Break off tough ends of the asparagus and slice diagonally the asparagus into bite-size 1-inch pieces. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and prepare a bowl with ice and cold water. Blanch sliced asparagus for 1 minute, or until just cooked through but still firm, then plunge them into the ice bath. Let sit for 5 minutes, then drain and pat dry.
3. In a blender or food processor, combine basil, lemon zest, garlic, salt, the black pepper and the lemon juice, and process until garlic is chopped. Pour in olive oil. Process until mixture is well blended and bright green, about 1 minute.
4. In a large mixing bowl, gently toss together beans, asparagus and dressing. Taste and add more lemon juice and salt if needed.
BEANS: Beans are a wonder food - an excellent source of vitamin-rich, low-fat protein. Beans help to lower cholesterol, combat heart disease, stabilize blood sugar, reduce obesity, relieve constipation, hypertension and type II diabetes, and lessen the risk of cancer.
ASPARAGUS: High in Vitamins K and A. Asparagus has a unique combination of anti-inflammatory nutrients aiding in digestive support, heart health and blood sugar regulation. As a result of its very strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrient composition, eating asparagus reduces your risk for certain cancers, including possibly leukemia.
LEMONS/LIMES: Lemons contain unique flavonoid compounds that have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. These flavonoids have been shown to stop cell division in many cancer cells. As an excellent source of vitamin C, lemons help to neutralize free radicals, which can damage healthy cells in the body and cause swelling and chronic pain. Although acidic in taste, lemons actually have an alkalizing effect on the body, helping to reduce inflammation.