Tuesday, August 3, 2010

White bean salad

That's my salad, way over to the left--can you see it, or are your eyes too dazzled by the brilliant beauty of the rest of the meal? 

This was our family dinner yesterday, and my mom was responsible for everything you see here, except that salad and the Harvard beets, which I cooked from beets from the parents' garden.  Specifically, she made the marvellous stuffed potato, which was truly a treat, something I would not make for myself (and she even bought Earth Balance and Tofutti Sour Supreme for it), and the amazingly gorgeous roasted vegetables.  I hadn't brought my camera so I photographed it in sunlight with the Moon Goddess's point and click on Automatic mode and dang if the image wasn't just awesome.

So anyway, that salad; I made it up.  Normally I prefer to rely on recipes, at least in theory, but the Moon Goddess told me not to bring anything with a lot of vegetables in it, and I just got inspired.  Here's what I did:

Zoa's white bean salad
Serves 6

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 large garlic clove, pressed
salt and pepper to taste

2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 cups cooked white kidney beans
2 cups cooked giant lima beans
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 tbsp parsley, minced

I'm sure you all know what to do with all that.  Here's a closeup of the finished thing.  It worked out surprisingly well and I had a little left over for lunch today, when it was just as good.

Katee, may I bring this to your party this weekend?


  1. Zoa,

    That plate of food looks beautiful...colorful, summer, vegetable perfection. That baked potato does sound and look marvelous...it makes me want to indulge in some vegan sour cream.

    The salad is inspired; chickpeas and butter beans are my two favorite beans of all, and this combo must be delicious. Now, If I can just find some of those giant beans around here...

  2. We'll all miss those colors when summer's over!

  3. I'm curious to know why you chose white vinegar as part of the dressing. You don't see that too often in recipes anymore. Anyways, looks delicious and about my speed.

  4. Great looking plate of food — such vibrant colors. I love white kidney beans (which I think are the same as cannelini beans) and chickpeas. I've never loved lima beans but I think I should give them another chance. You make them sound so good!

  5. Rose, couldn't you use your favas? Then we can be mutually admiring...

    Stacy, too right. I always like the changing seasons, but there is something very special about a plate of garden vegetables in the sun that nothing in the winter can quite replicate.

    Shenandoah, good question. I asked myself that ("Are you crazy? Isn't white vinegar really best for cleaning with?") but that was part of the inspiration. Usually I'm all about fresh lemon juice, but I wanted a very sour sharp taste in the dressing--but not too sour, hence the rice vinegar which is much milder (I loathe the flavour of apple cider vinegar so would not consider using that). This combination really worked for some mysterious reason in a way that lemon juice wouldn't have, and gave the salad a clean, fresh taste that complimented the beans well.

    Andrea, yes, I think they are the same, though often what is sold as cannelini beans don't seem to have quite the same kidney bean shape as these do...anyway, the taste was identical. And re lima beans, I'm not keen on canned lima beans and would use some other kind of bean in the salad if I were working with cans, but the new frozen ones (by themselves and *not* with beans and carrots which never freeze well), or dried (large or small) are lovely, and of course if you could get them fresh I'd imagine that would be heaven!

  6. Oh, I love bean salads. I just read your "vegan story." Very interesting. It is a lot like mine - I knew right away as a young child that eating meat felt wrong to me.

  7. Thanks for the answer. I need to sharpen my vinegar tasting abilities.

  8. I just saw the last line of your post. Of course you can bring it to the party tomorrow! It looks delicious! I am making a barley arugula salad and Opa's potato salad which you will enjoy. I am so happy that you are going to join us.

  9. What a delicious looking plate of food! Yummy! You really should open up a vegan cafe and call it "The Airy Way" -- I'd come :O)!!