Tuesday, March 12, 2013
A Different Sort of Bean Salad
Growing up in the South, my idea of bean salad usually consisted of the three-bean variety with a sweet n' tangy apple cider vinegar-spiked dressing. Then one day I encountered the yumminess that is Stella's in Richmond. Eating there is something of a rare treat for me, but when I do, they have a bean salad that I just love. I've never been able to figure out exactly how it's made, but this is my closest approximation. And in early March, when the farmers' market isn't in full swing yet, this dish definitely hits the spot. Just add a loaf of bread, some extra-virgin olive oil to dip it in, and you've got a light but satisfying Mediterranean style meal.
Mediterranean-Style Bean Salad
Green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces - I use about 1/4 or 1/3 pound to feed 3-4 people; the recipe is infinitely expandable, though
frozen lima beans(thawed) - about 1/3 pound
Half of a can of chickpeas (15 oz. can)
2 ribs celery, chopped fine
1/3 red onion, cut in half and sliced paper-thin
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1/3 cup (or more, if you like) freshly chopped herbs - parsley, mint, maybe even a little dill (use what tastes good to you!)
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1. Put about 1 1/2 inches of water in a saucepan and heat to boiling over medium heat. Add steamer basket and steam lima beans,covered, for about 7-8 minutes.
2. Add green beans to the steamer basket with the limas, cover pan again, and steam for another 4-5 minutes.
3. Remove steamer basket, but leave saucepan and water boiling on stove. Turn heat up to high and boil, uncovered, until water reduced to about 1 Tablespoon.
4. Rinse beans in cold water and place in salad bowl.
5. Add chickpeas, celery, and onion to beans in salad bowl. Stir to combine, add salt and pepper and toss salad again.
6. Squeeze lemon into salad. Stir in herbs, oil and the reduced steaming liquid. Blend together, cover bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight.
7. Crumble feta cheese across the top when serving, and enjoy!