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Bean & Herb salad

April 19, 2010

This is a simple recipe for a bean salad that can easily be modified. All the things you need are:

–       Rinsed cooked beans, home cooked are best, but from a can is fine.

–       Flat leafed parsley, or fresh mint or fresh basil or fresh cilantro, or any combination of all of them, pick and washed.

–       Shallot or onion

Bean & Parsley salad with seared duck and Rye bread.

–       Olive oil

–       A lemon

–       Salt

–       Black pepper

How much of each ingredient you use depends on how many you plan to serve. For me a portion of beans is about a handful. I have found that beans have a better texture when they are room temperature, so let them warm up on the counter for a bit if they have been in the refrigerator. When you are ready, put the beans in a big bowl then add a generous amount of the fresh herbs. About half as much herb as there are beans is a good start. You can use the herbs in whole leaves or chop/tear them if you prefer. With the shallot or onion, finely mince or use a sharp knife to shave them as thin as you can. I have never liked big chunks of raw onion in anything, but if you do you can slice thicker. Because onions and shallots have such a strong flavor I would start by adding just a little bit then adding more at the end if you want a little more of their flavor.

Now you have the base or your salad. Drizzle the salad generously with olive oil, then sparingly with lemon juice. Lemon juice adds a wonderful brightness to the salad, but can make it tart, so use just a little, then taste if it needs more. Add a friendly pinch of salt. Again, how much salt you use depends on how much salad you make and your own taste. Add a bit, then taste and add more if you like. Its important to taste the dish as you go along to make sure it has the flavors you want. Onc you are comfortable with it you can add almost anything you want to the salad. You can use just one kind of bean or any combination of different beans. You can add things like shaved fennel, cooked rice or steamed spinach. You can even substitute different vinegars like balsamic in place of lemon. It is at your discretion. Finish with some fresh black pepper and serve alone, with toast or even as a side with lunch or dinner. Enjoy. Feel free to add your comments to this post. Cheers, alex.

Note, this salad is great for all people. It is also Vegan for those of you who prefer not eat animal products.

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