Bean Salad

by May 24, 2010

As much as I like to cook, sometimes it is fun and satisfying to open a couple cans and call it a success.  This bean salad is just that easy.  Well, you do have to slice up some onions and snip a few herbs, but only a few, and you will feel quite accomplished in only 5 minutes.   And you’ll certainly feel happy during the next week when you realize that a spoonful or two of beans on fresh greens makes a great lunch or dinner.  Add leftover chicken, or a hearty grain (like cooked wheat berries or farro) and it really comes together into something satisfying.  Enjoy!
Bean Salad
serves 6 – 8
1 15oz. can organic garbanzo beans
1 15oz. can organic kidney beans
2 green onions, split and sliced thinly
1 shallot, split and sliced thinly
1-2 tablespoons freshly minced herbs (parsley, oregano, tarragon, any or all or mix)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons agave nectar or unrefined cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Piment d’Espelette (or other mild chili pepper)
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt (or other sea salt or kosher salt)
1. Open the beans, dump in a colander and rinse with water.  Shake out as much water as you can and put beans in a non metal bowl (glass, ceramic or melamine are best choices).
2. Sprinkle the green onion slices, shallot, herbs over the beans.  Drizzle with the oil, sprinkle on the vinegar, agave or sugar, and spices.  Stir, cover and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours to meld flavors.
Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips
  • Use any onion/shallot/garlic combo you’d like – green garlic, spring onions, scapes, all those great things you can find at the farmers market now.
  • Use your favorite wine vinegar:  sherry, generic red wine, or that fancy varietal you might happen to have in the pantry.  (I’m thinking cabernet or champagne, not balsamic.)
  • Use any herbs you like, you can even sprinkle in some dried oregano if you don’t have any fresh — take it easy though.  Dried herbs are not as tasty as fresh.  You’re almost better off letting the beans marinate without herbs, then if you happen to garner some fresh in the next few days, adding them at serving time.
  • Piment d’Espelette is a mild chili pepper that I picked up at my friends’ import grocery, Gourmet Corner.  It is grown near the town of its name, Espelette, on the French side of the Pyrenées border with Spain, “Basque Country”.  If you don’t have it and don’t want it, don’t worry about it.  Add some more black pepper, or add some nice paprika if you have that and want the flavor.  (If you are a spice junkie and have Marash on hand, that would make a great swap.)

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