Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Trash Pantry: Three Bean Salad

Three Beans for Three Bean Salad
Garlic and Shallots
Lemon Juice
Basil and Parsley
Lemon Zest
Welcome to another edition of trash pantry. Now, I'll admit that it's pretty hard to get excited about anything called a three bean salad. This is basically the dish that your Aunt Susan brought to every single barbecue and it lay heating up in the sun with nary a soul paying it a cent of attention among the hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, corn on the cob, watermelon and other treats. But as it so happens, my pantry is pretty bare, and I've got a can of chickpeas, a can of kidney beans, and a can of cannellini beans. Then there's some left over herbs that are on the verge of turning, and a few lemons. That sounds like a pretty good start to a dish to me.
So to be honest, I actually based this little experiment on a recipe I had recently seen on Serious Eats. The differences are minor, mainly being that my ingredients varied a bit, but the premise was the same. So, just to clarify, the ingredients I used were:

My 3 cans of three different beans (chickpea, kidney, cannellini) - instead of the 3 cans of cannellinis recommended
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 large rib celery, finely diced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil - the original recipe recommends a 1/2 cup which just seemed like it would make everything kind of soupy
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup half chopped Italian parsley and half chopped basil - used instead of mint... because lovely as it sounds, I ain't got no mint

Ta-Da! Three Bean Salad
After mixing up everybody in a big bowl, this thing was actually pretty darn good. It was fresh, hearty, and delicious. The celery added a nice little bite, and the tartness of the lemon and the zest added a real nice kick to go along with the more punchy herbs that I had substituted for the recommended mint. If I were planning to bring this anywhere, and had proper time to prep, I might start with dried beans and soak them overnight to give the whole dish a little bit more of sturdy mouthfeel, as canned beans can be a mush-fest. Nevertheless, I'd say this was another victorious battle in the everlasting war known as Trash Pantry.

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