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Bean and herb salad

December 23, 2011

Bean salads make a good quick lunch or light dinner and they travel well. Plain cooked beans have a pretty dry texture so they drink up a lot of oil. Cold beans with olive oil and salt are delicious and a good bean salad is wonderful for anyone at any time. This is a simple salad you can make pretty much any time of year. if you have some cooked off beans you can use them, otherwise canned beans will work fine. Here’s a list of ingredients:

–       cooked beans

–       olive oil

–       lemon (vinegar will work too)

–       salt

–       soft herbs of your choice (parsley, basil, chives, mint, fennel, dill…)

–       shaved shallot or onion (as thin as you can slice them)

–       Pepper

If your beans are in liquid give them a light rinse and drain them. Put them in a bowl for mixing and drizzle generously with oil. add a squeeze of fresh lemon and a bit of the minced shallot/onion. Salt to taste. How much of what you use depends on your own taste and how much you are making. mix the beans, taste and add more of anything you think it might need more of. Try to give it enough oil to give the beans a creamy texture, enough lemon to make it snap without being astringent and enough salt to make it taste good. Beans need more salt than they appear to, trust your taste buds when salting and note that canned beans contain much more salt than ones you cook at home. When you are happy with the dressing, fold in your fresh herbs, chopped or whole, pepper and serve. It will keep a few days. It can sit out for a bit too, the beans will be a little better at room temperature than refrigerator cold.

This salad is great in its simplicity, but you can vary it pretty easily by adding other things too. Try it with peppers, roasted vegetables, salami, fresh sweet corn, brown rice, cucumbers, grated cheese, fresh tomatoes, avocado, shaved fresh fennel, smoked fish, leftover chicken… just about anything you can think of. Enjoy.

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