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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

i need beano

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"beans, beans, the musical fruit,
the more you eat, the more you toot!"

I know....I'm so mature. Ask hubs, he'll tell you about my embarassingly low-brow sense of humour. I think my brothers and I probably sang that tune on a weekly basis growing poor parents.

Seriously though, one of the treats we always had growing up was baked beans out of a can, served cold. We LOVED it. (No joke!)

I still like beans....I like them in chili, I like them in curry and I even like them in salad....not so much hubs. He loves chili and curry, but offer him bean salad and he will scream like a girl* and flee to the basement, that safe man-haven of beer and wings.

(*reaction may not be entirely as recounted; may be exagerration for comedic effect). Hubs does HATE bean salad fact, there are not words for how much he despises it.

It's too bad for him that I both love it and decided to make it tonight. We'd been having way too much meat lately, so I thought it was time to imbue a little vegetarian speediness into our lives (you can read that however you want). I went back to my current favourite cookbook, Cooking to Beat the Clock and found a wonderful four-bean salad that was exactly what I was wanting.

This isn't quite the classic three/four-bean salad; it's got a little more sophistication (let's say the good old country favourite has moved to the city and wisened up a bit), and I found I had to add a little more vinegar to the dressing to really make it awesome, but it's deeeeeeeeelish. Normally, I use a 3:1 oil to vinegar ratio for dressing, but because beans are kinda starchy and bland, you can do a 2:1 ratio and it's much peppier. Highly recommend this as a vegetarian main dish you can whip up inside of 30 minutes. YUMMY.

four-bean salad with arugula and red onion
sort of from Cooking to Beat the Clock

12 ounces green beans
baby arugula
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can chickpeas
1 small red onion (about 8 oz)
2 cloves garlic
12 basil leaves
3-3.5 T red wine vinegar
1 t honey
1 t dijon mustard
freshly ground pepper
1/3 c olive oil
crumbled/grated cheese (optional)

1. Run the hot-water tap and put a healthy pinch of salt and 2 c hot tap water in a skillet. Cover and put over high heat until the water comes to a boil. Meanwhile, fill the sink with cold water and trim the stem ends from the green beans. When the water boils, add the green beans to the skillet, cover, and cook for 3 minutes (if the beans are skinny) or 5 minutes (if they look more like me hehe). Drain into a colander and rinse with cold water to cool.

grean beans

2. Open all the cans of beans into a colander, rinse and drain briefly.

beans! beans!

3. While the beans drain, cut off a thin slice from the top and bottom of the onion, halve lengthwise, peel each half and cut crosswise into thin half-moon strips. Cut the tomato in half lengthwise, and cut each half into thin wedges. Put the canned beans, onion, tomato and green beans in a large bowl.

bean salad!

4. Peel the garlic and drop down the chute of a running food processor. When it is puréed, stop the motor and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the basil, vinegar, honey, mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Turn the processor on again and gradually pour in the oil through the chute. [I will confess that my food processor is still dirty from yesterday - I just used my immersion blender and pre-pressed the garlic].

5. Add the dressing to the vegetables and mix well. To serve, place baby arugula leaves on the plate, and top with some salad. If desired, top with a little cheese (I like extra old cheddar, but feta or chèvre would be great).


Yum. Hubs has vacated the premises to meet a buddy at a pub....I don't actually have any beano, so let's hope the stench of whatever pub grub he ends up noshing on overpowers any issues that may be forthcoming....

Thanks for reading! Love the comments!

1 comment:

Sara said...

I love bean salad and this one looks so great. Honey and Dijon? Yum.

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