1. Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Cut spears diagonally into 1-inch lengths.
2. In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, bring about 1 inch water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook just until tender-crisp when pierced, about 3 minutes. Transfer asparagus with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water. Lift out when cold.
3. Dry the frying pan and add cumin. Stir over low heat just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour cumin into a wide bowl and add lemon juice.
4. Drain beets and garbanzos, rinse with cool water, and drain again. Add to bowl along with asparagus, onion, cilantro, and pistachios. Mix and add salt to taste.