Monday, August 27, 2012
TWO BEAN SALADS-- ONE A "HAPPY ACCIDENT"
In the summer I always have a hearty grain/bean/vegetable/and/or/pasta salad (or 2) in the fridge, just as I have a soup (same basic ingredients) around during the colder weather. Not only do DH and I take some for work lunches, and eat them for lunch or dinner when we're in a hurry or too pooped to cook, but they make for hearty, healthy snacking, too.
Yesterday, I found that we were salad-less, so I checked the fridge, freezer and cupboard for items that needed using and other likely ingredients. Since I had some skinny green beans already semi-cooked in the refrigerator, I decided to make some sort of 3-Bean Salad, but not a sweet one. Rummaging around, I found a cut red onion (well-wrapped, of course) in the vegetable drawer, shelled edamame (green soybeans) in the freezer, a can of Romano beans and a jar of roasted red peppers in the cupboard. And, let's not forget, plenty of basil growing in pots on the back deck and some fresh, locally-grown Rocambole garlic from some neighbors up the road. Plenty of fodder for a great salad-- just needs a dressing. The result is the recipe below.
But, first, the "happy accident".
I'm not providing a recipe, just a guide, because it was a spur of the moment recipe and I didn't write it down. Two nights ago, I had made a simple-but-delicious Greek-style white bean dish with lots of peppers and onions braised in a little olive oil and their own juices. (See photo at right.) The recipe is on my blog here. I had doubled the amount of white beans in the dish this time because my stepson was here and he is usually a big eater. But, he was in a hurry, so I ended up with leftovers, which turned out to be the basis of another good salad. The bean dish is flavored with garlic, basil and some red wine vinegar, so I figured that we were pretty much there already!
I also had some leftover bulgur wheat pilaf in the refrigerator, made with extra-coarse (#4) bulgur, which cooks up almost like barley, so I decided to mix that in with the leftover bean dish and season with a little of my usual balsamic vinaigrette. It turned out to be very delicious, particularly, I believe, because of the large amount of braised bell peppers and onions in the original dish.
Greek-Style White Beans with Peppers and Onions in Olive Oil, but use 2 cans (or 4 cups home-cooked) white kidney beans or cannellini beans. Use 2 parts cold, leftover bean dish to 1 part cooked grain. (You can use any cooked whole grain that you like.) Add a large handful of chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley and season with your favorite vinaigrette (not too much, because the beans are already seasoned-- add a bit, mix, taste...). Keep refrigerated until serving. That's it!
**Now, here's the new 3-Bean Salad recipe:
BRYANNA'S NEW THREE-BEAN SALAD (No sugar!)
Serves 4 to 6
1 large roasted red pepper (home-roasted or from a jar, rinsed), seeded and chopped
1 cup frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans), boiled for 4 minutes and drained
about 10 oz. of thin fresh green beans, steamed or boiled just until crisp-tender, drained
2 cups cooked or canned (one 19 oz. can) Romano (or pinto) beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1/3 cup minced red or sweet onion
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or organic bottled)
1/4 cup Oil Substitute for salad Dressings (or broth from cooking chickpeas)
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
1 large clove garlic, crushed
3/4 teaspoon salt
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Gently toss together all of the vegetables, herbs and onion in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the Dressing ingredients. Pour over the vegetables and toss again. Taste for salt and pepper. Keep refrigerated until serving.