Monday, September 21, 2009

Rosie Makes A Bean Salad.

I love bean salads. On our trip home from Danville last Tuesday, we stopped for lunch where they had a salad bar with a nice bean salad. Not a great salad, but not bad either. I got a taste for bean salad. I got a fever and the only prescription is I gotta have more COWBELL! Errr ... I mean more bean salad. And I can make a bean salad that can run circles around that ersatz bean salad we had en route.
I just happened to have in my cooler (which on the way up had transported le tete de Celine) a package of organic green beans I'd pilfered from Mama Hawthorne's refrigerator. I snapped the tips off, broke into halves and thirds, and dropped into salted, boiling water for about 4 minutes. I like my beans crisp/tender.
I drained the beans and immediately plunged them into ice water to stop the cooking and set the color.
Earlier, I had cooked garbanzo beans and kidney beans, separately. About 40-50 minutes each. I like mine with toothiness. Al dente. And most bean salads I've had (my own being the exception) have flaccid, mushy beans
Now, to those who are wondering how many green beans did you use? How much of the garbanzo beans did you put in? What about the kidney beans? You didn't say how much. I say to you it really doesn't matter. Put enough of each in until it is pleasing to the eye.
This balance is pleasing to my eye. If you have leftover kidney or garbanzo beans, I can take care of that too. I have a great recipe for a kidney bean dip and I'm going to use my garbanzos to make hummus. (That post forthcoming.) Ooops! I meant moreover beans. I don't do leftovers. I do moreovers.
I chopped some red onion and crumbled some feta cheese. Put in how much you like.
Celery and red pepper. If you have green pepper or yellow pepper or orange pepper or purple pepper, it's all good. You can mix and match.
Add the ingredients together until you get a beautiful melange of tastes, textures, and colors.
And if you happen to open your pantry for one ingredient and you espy something else that would add an interesting je ne said quoi to the whole, then by all means, go ahead and add it. In my case it was marinated artichoke hearts which I rinsed, drained, and cut.
Ahhhhhh. That looks happy, doesn't it.
Now, for the dressing. I used: 1/4 cup oil (not olive oil)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 1/2 cup sugar freshly ground salt and pepper
I mixed the vinegar and sugar until the sugar was dissolved.
Then I whisked in the oil and added the salt and pepper. To taste. Try a few grinds. Taste. Then add more if you want. Small steps. Small steps.
Pour the dressing over the salad.
Toss to coat.
I love this bean salad. It's one of my favorite things to eat. First of all, there are the colors. It's a beautiful dish. Then you have the textures. The crunch of one vegetable. The tooth of another. Different degrees of textures. Softness. Firmness. Crumbliness. And you have the flavors. And they're all good. And together, they're waaaaaay better than good. You know what? Some toasted walnuts would be lovely in here. Enjoy.

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