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Old 04-07-2021, 09:51 AM   #1
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What's Your best Bean Salad Recipe?

My best bean salad is an expanded version of three-bean salad. Here's how you make it.

All canned beans are added with the can juices.
12 oz each:
black beans
dark red kidney beans
green beans
wax beans
chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
12 oz, drained, whole kernel corn
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 stalk (rib) celery, sliced
3 tbs. sugar
1/2 cup water
Apple cider vinegar to taste
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1/4 cup halved grape tomatoes

Lace all ingredients into a non-reactive bowl. over with tight fitting lid. Refrigerate for at least three hours before serving.

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Old 04-07-2021, 01:34 PM   #2
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My favorite bean salad is actually a lentil salad, that I make countless times every summer, once the cherry tomatoes start ripening. One time recently I was having withdrawal, brought on by counting all those tomato seeds, and drawing up plans for the garden! It wasn't the same with frozen cherry tomatoes, as it got a little watery, but it was still good!

The original recipe called for regular brown/green lentils, but I found out early on that it was hard to get the texture just right, and it was easy for them to get mushy, even if it seemed they were al dente when drained. Later I discovered channa dal, which, even when what seems like they are overcooked, got firm when chilled, so I use those in the salad. The original recipe had a half cup of cooked wild rice, which is good in it, but I usually use freekeh - a cracked wheat, with a roasted flavor, which is delicious in this. It also called for pine nuts, but given the price, I use toasted, slivered almonds, which are crunchier, with a better flavor. The habanero is a unique and distinguishing flavor - it wouldn't be the same without it, but sometimes I use aji dulce - a habanero type pepper with almost no heat, for someone who can't take the heat. The feta is also a delicious flavor here - one time, I was out of it, and diced up some extra sharp cheddar instead, but even that was lacking in flavor. Finally, the original recipe had a half cup of chopped scallions - good, but the leftovers got that bad raw onion taste. So I use chives, or even better, garlic chives - these were popping up outside when I made that last batch!

It's actually faster than it looks, especially if I have someone to put to work halving all the tomatoes, while I'm prepping the rest! The original recipe calls for a pint, I guess because that's how they are sold, but I usually use 3-4 cups - hard to have to many fresh tomatoes in the summer! This is why I have 12 varieties of cherry/grape tomatoes, in 4 different colors this year.

Lentil Salad

For cooking the lentils:

1 lb channa dal
1/3 c dry freekeh, or use wild rice, spelt, kamut, or similar grain
1 medium onion, stuck with 6 cloves (or use 1/2 tsp asafoetida, and put cloves in tea ball, with other spices)
Option: 1 large or 2 small black cardamom pods
1 tsp Mexican oregano
8 cups water
2 tsp salt

Rinse the dal several times, until not very cloudy, and place in 4 qt saucepan, or the instant pot (the way I always do it now), with the water, bring it to a simmer, and skim the foam for a few minutes, then add the onion (or asafoetida - the cheap and easy way I give onion flavor to these types of foods), the tea ball with the spices, and the salt. On the stove, simmer for about 35 minutes, adding the freekeh after 10 minutes (same for wild rice; spelt and kamut can be added in the beginning).
In the IP bring to a simmer on sauté/high, then switch to the slow cook regular mode - best way to cook these without overcooking. After 40 minutes, add the freekeh, and after about 1:50 start checking for doneness. I usually get it at around 2 or 2:10.

When the dal are cooked, but not mushy, drain in a colander with small holes. When well drained, toss in a 4 qt bowl with:

1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c red wine or balsamic vinegar

While cooking, prepare the following, to toss with the lentils, when cooled:

3 c (or more!) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 c chopped garlic or regular chives
1/2 c chopped cilantro
1/3 c toasted slivered almonds
4 oz brined feta cheese, diced about 3/8" (better than the "crumbled", and it crumbles up some after dicing)
1 large, or 2 small ripe habaneros, minced (can be seeded, to reduce heat some, but it doesn't help much)

I always mix the habanero in first, to thoroughly distribute it, then the nuts and herbs, and the tomatoes and cheese last, to crush them up the least.

When eating this cold from the fridge, I put a bowl in the MW for 10 sec, just to take the chill off. Sometimes, some vinegar has to added, as it seems to loose strength when refrigerated.
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Old 04-07-2021, 07:09 PM   #3
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Mm, the salads sound delicious. Both of them.
Pepper, have you tried to halve the tomatoes this way? Put 6-10 on the breadboard, put a disk like a sour cream or cottage cheese container lid on top, press firmly, then using a serrated knife, cut/saw halfway between the lid and the breadboard. It goes pretty quickly. This works well with grapes too.
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:25 PM   #4
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blissful I have used that method, but as quickly as it can be done that way, I slice them individually, though a friend that often does that for me likes that method better (she's almost afraid of my knives!). It's easier to slice the round ones through the stems one at a time, and I often have larger varieties, which I quarter. I always hone my knife before cutting the tomatoes - don't even need a serrated knife for tomato or pepper skins - something I can always test a knife on!
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by pepperhead212 View Post
blissful I have used that method, but as quickly as it can be done that way, I slice them individually, though a friend that often does that for me likes that method better (she's almost afraid of my knives!). It's easier to slice the round ones through the stems one at a time, and I often have larger varieties, which I quarter. I always hone my knife before cutting the tomatoes - don't even need a serrated knife for tomato or pepper skins - something I can always test a knife on!

I agree, with honing your knives, tomatoes make a great test for them. I started sharpening knives last year, really learning all the ins and outs on 3 sharpening stones. I did all mine in the kitchen, then husband thought I was good enough to sharpen his 20 garage knives he uses for trapping season. Those are all more like filet knives. Then we moved on to sharpening pathetic jack knives of his and my son's that hadn't been sharpened in years and years. It was a big project when all was said and done. It's such a satisfying pleasure to use sharp knives.
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beans, celery, celery seed, onion, recipe, salad, sugar, tomato, vinegar

What's Your best Bean Salad Recipe? My best bean salad is an expanded version of three-bean salad. Here's how you make it. All canned beans are added with the can juices. 12 oz each: black beans dark red kidney beans green beans wax beans chickpeas (garbanzo beans) 12 oz, drained, whole kernel corn 1/2 tsp. celery seed 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced 1 stalk (rib) celery, sliced 3 tbs. sugar 1/2 cup water Apple cider vinegar to taste 1 tsp. black peppercorns 1/4 cup halved grape tomatoes Lace all ingredients into a non-reactive bowl. over with tight fitting lid. Refrigerate for at least three hours before serving. Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North 3 stars 1 reviews
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