Wednesday 12 June 2019

Summer bean salad!

It's Irish summer, which means -- maybe there'll be warm, dry days, maybe there'll be cold, wet days. In other words, not much change from weather any other season! As I write, it's cold, wet, grey and miserable. There was hail a couple of days ago. But last weekend was sunny, dry and quite warm, perfect for at least one bbq. I suspected it would be so, in advance, and started making my favourite summery bean salad. This is a simple recipe, though it has to be made in two stages, which means two days. It is perfect for making in anticipation of a bbq, but also works as a fresh veg accompaniment to any meal, or with pitta or crusty bread as a meal in itself.

Even though I say a two stage recipe, I really have to start the night before stage one as I prefer to use dried chick peas (garbanzo beans) and kidney beans, rather than canned. They need to be fully soaked and then boiled the next day. I always add some bay leaves when boiling; the flavour they add is subtle but the house sure smells nice while the beans are boiling!

The other stage one ingredients are an onion, red pepper, runner beans, vinegar, sunflower oil, sugar. Chop vegetables, and in a large bowl add 2 tlbsp vinegar, 4 tblsp oil, and 4-6 tblsp sugar. Cover and leave overnight, periodically stirring. I never have room in my fridge, but because I live in Ireland there are plenty of cool storage spaces. If you live in a country that has a hot summer, do be sure to refrigerate!

The next day drain and rinse well.

For the second stage dressing, which will stay in the salad, I go all out and use olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar, but this is not necessary (so go ahead and continue to use sunflower oil, regular vinegar, white sugar). My version is just a little more special and decadent, but the original recipe I found did not use these ingredients.

Again, leave refrigerated overnight, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to your taste. This is an incredibly fresh and tasty salad.

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