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Monday, August 27, 2012


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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.

                                                                      Rocambole garlic

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.

So, make the recipe for 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:

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.



Anonymous said...

Hello Keep up with the outstanding posts. Thanks you very much

Vic Robinson said...

Looks fantastic!