Salads

Bean salad

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This is something I ate a lot as a teenage vegan. I think it was a favourite of my mum’s in the 80s. I don’t make it very often these days but decided to make it today as I have my first crop of fresh green beans today, and also wanted to celebrate the UN year of pulses 2016. It’s really good for lunch or it’s a great party / picnic salad and it keeps better than a salad made with lots of leaves too! If you want to make it into a meal add some feta cheese or avocado to the salad and serve with some fresh bread.

This makes a good bowl of salad, you can scale it up if you are feeding a big group. I started by lightly steaming about 100g green beans which I then cooled in water. Meanwhile I fried a couple of cloves of chopped garlic in a couple of tbsp of olive oil until it started to turn golden brown then I added half a tsp of cumin seeds (optional) and fried for a few more seconds and turned off the heat and allowed it to cool.

I used a can of mixed beans (240g) which I drained and rinsed. (If you don’t have mixed beans use a couple of different cans of beans to give the salad some variety and scale up the other ingredients.) Then I chopped up a smallish red onion, about 100g of tomatoes and 100g cucumber (basically about half the weight of the beans you are using). I put all these ingredients in a mixing bowl and poured over the garlic oil and added a good splash of sherry vinegar and a couple grinds of sea salt. Then I chopped a handful of mixed fresh herbs (I used chives, coriander, dill and mint as that’s what I have in the garden at the moment) and added most of these to the salad and mixed everything together.

I put the salad on a serving dish and sprinkled the remaining herbs on top and ground some pepper on the salad. I also drizzled over some pomegranate molasses which I had, don’t worry if you don’t have this.

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