Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tuscan Bean Salad

I picked up a pre-made salad one evening to serve with dinner and loved the combination of flavors , so as I am wont to do, I played with it until I got close or even better. The lemon- as well as the cider vinegar -gives it the sour kick it needs. It would be good with sauteed zucchini pieces mixed in. At the very end I offer some variations. I never do it the same twice. We are in the process of editing the 8 Broads cookbook, and I look at my recipes and realize that was the way I did them back when we started the process is not necessarily how I do them now! I am always tweaking, adding, making them better or at least, different! Ellen edits my work, and she gets a gold crown for dealing with all the changes I make!  At any rate, during prime veggie season, I am making this once a week to the applause of my family. Today, when I took the photos, it had marinated artichokes diced into it.

Tuscan Bean Salad

2 cups barley, cooked and cooled (end amount) or use frozen
1 can (15 oz) navy beans
1 can (15 oz) chick peas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 cup green pepper chopped (half a large pepper)
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped (half a large pepper)
1/2 cup green onions chopped
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup tomato, diced
2 tbsp pesto  (basil/canola oil)
2 tbsp garlic puree (garlic, canola oil, citric acid)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp sea salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon (or citric acid if you have it)*

Cook and cool the barley and beans if you are making them from dry.
1/2 cup dry barley, 2 cups water, 1/2 tsp salt. Soak several hours, then cook till tender. Drain
In a large bowl measure all the ingredients.
Add additional oil if you feel it is too dry.
Season and allow to stand 15 minutes for the flavors to marry.
Refrigerate until time to serve.

*The type of pepper really doesn't really matter.
*Pesto you can make with just mincing fresh basil with oil. I did this without the pine nuts as we had someone here with a nut allergy.

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