Another day, another salad. Happily I enjoy eating salad, if given the choice, I’d pick fresh vegetables, with a light dressing, or no dressing at all, over processed foods, meats etc. unless I am in a really good restaurant, that knows its meat, or, of course I am being cooked for by a friend who loves to eat and cook. At home we like to keep it simple and this is another salad that fits the bill. Fast if you use canned beans, I prefer to soak them myself, and then use the pressure cooker, but either way the salad is pretty good.
Ingredients for 2
Preparation (start the night before) if using dried beans
- Soak about 1 – 2 cups of jumbo white beans in a large amount of water overnight (you will have leftovers but I like to make more than I need so I can use them in other recipes)
- Cook in the pressure cooker (about 45 – minutes till cooked and soft) – drain and cool
- 1 red onion – cut into slices and separated – marinate in equal parts water and white wine vinegar with some salt and pepper added (soak for at least 3 hours or as long as you need – overnight works fine too) – it will have a nice pickled taste and a softer texture than usual, DON’T leave out this step, it really makes a big difference to the end product.
When onion and beans are ready prepare:
- 1 beetroot raw, peeled, halved and sliced into thin slices about 3 mm thick
- 3-4 celery stalks chopped into 1/2 cm width slices
- 1 – 2 yellow peppers (depending on size) – wash, devein, slice
- lettuce leaves from 1 lettuce heart, washed and separated into single leaves
Mix drained onions with the sliced pepper and about 1 1/2 cup of the cooked white beans, you will have some left over, but you can use them for other recipes). Add some GREAT quality virgin olive oil to the salad , I like Tuscan or Sicilian – for the grassy, green flavours they add (about 1 tablespoon). Add some salt to taste. I don’t add vinegar as the beans and all the ingredients have so much flavour by themselves and the onion is already pickled.
Reserve raw beetroot slices to place individually, if you mix them with the other ingredients, they will leak colour into your salad, which is not aesthetically pleasing.
Pick some pretty salad bowls, the ones shown here were made by French Pottery designer Jars and are called Plume – I fell in love with them about 2 months ago, and then after fruitlessly trying to forget them, I went back and bought some. The bowls in fact inspired the salad.
Line the bottom of the bowl with lettuce leaves, add the bean, onion and pepper mix – layer on some red beet slices and add more of the salad. Et voila.
Even people who say they don’t love vegetables would have to love this salad! I served some fresh strawberries and blueberries (not in season, but imported from Spain – and surprisingly very delicious)…with the salad…