Saturday, May 8, 2021

ChezCindy: Bean Salad with Parsley-Shallot Dressing


When I was a young child, my palette of what foods I would eat was very narrow.  This beautiful bean salad would not have been a consideration, ever.  I remember family gatherings where my Aunt Marge would bring a bean salad to share.  To me, that dish was so strange.  I knew I would never eat something like that in a million years.  "I'll stick to my plain bologna sandwich on white bread please." Thankfully, we were not a family that had to take a bit of every dish to try.  

Fast forward a million years, I am the aunt bringing bean salad to a family gathering.  I'm quite certain the kids did not eat any, but the grown-ups did.  And, they wanted the recipe too.  

This bean salad is more of a process than a recipe, with a homemade parsley-shallot vinaigrette dressing.  The dressing is the star of the dish to bring it all together.  You could mix all of the ingredients together tossing it in a large bowl with the dressing.  But I like the beauty of laying out each ingredient.  

Bean Salad with Parsley-Shallot Vinaigrette
1/2 pound French green beans
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
1 15-ounce can dark red kidney beans, rinsed
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
7 tablespoons olive oil

Blanch the green beans:  Prepare a large bowl by filling it with cold water and ice.  Set aside.  Fill a medium pan with hot water, bring to a boil.  Add the green beans and the teaspoon of salt to the boiling water.  Boil the beans for 2 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, strain out the beans, adding them to the ice-cold water to stop the cooking.  Chill the beans in the icy water for 2-3 minutes.  Drain, placing the beans on a towel to dry.   

Drain and rinse each can of beans, keeping each can of beans separate from the others, drying each type on a towel.  Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.  Thinly slice the radishes.  

Prepare the salad dressing:  Working with a small food processor, add in the parsley leaves and the shallot.  Puree in the processor bowl until finely minced.  Add in the salt, mustard, honey and vinegar, whirring until combined.  Add in the olive oil, 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing in the processor each time until the mixture becomes emulsified.  The parsley will now be beautiful specks of green suspended in the dressing.  

Put it all together:  Using a large rectangle serving platter, place each type of bean in its own row, snuggling each type next to the first.  I like starting with the green beans in the center and working outward from there.  When ready to serve, drizzle the dressing across the rows down the center of the platter, adorning each row of beans like a crowning jewel.  Scatter a few parsley leaves over the top and serve at room temperature.  

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