This salad is made from one of the best pantry staples around. Dried beans, frugal, long lasting. I always keep stock of dried beans, so handy for soups and salads and dips and meals on their own.
I find the best places in Australia is to purchase them from is whole food shops, health food stores and the likes. These places usually have a good variety of beans.
When using beans for any meal it is necessary to rinse them in a colander and pick them over for any foreign object. As they are a bulk item sometimes you get the odd stone or dirt in them.
The night before using them, wash in a colander and pick over for any foreign objects. Put in to a bowl of water with about a finger depth of water more from the top of the beans. So use plenty of water.
Soak overnight, in this time they will soften, swell up and take on water and it also starts the germination process. Another buzz word for this is activating. This step in my opinion can not be skipped. It makes for a much better salad, as the beans are soft and cook correctly.
You can cook them in a pressure cooker at full pressure for 7 minutes with slow release, or in a pot for about 40 minutes till soft. You do not want them mushy. You still want them to be whole and intact and not break up.
Always rinse beans after cooking with cold water because it stops any further cooking.
Personally have always found this salad is better the day after you make it, the beans really take up the flavour of the dressing.
Beans are also really satiating. There are many health benefits of eating beans, check some out here.
You can also grow your own beans and dry them for later use in salad and soups etc. By growing you own is a way to save one costs. If time poor you can use tinned beans, but this will bring up the cost of the salad.
I have costed this recipe out from prices of Coles products and an online whole foods shop. I costed for whole dried beans. Not tinned.
Looking for an app to cost your recipes out, check out the one I use.
I used a home made dressing to further save on cost, you can find the recipe here.
The recipe is from the Edmonds Food for flatters cookbook but with a couple of adaptations.
I have added in using a pressure cooker for cooking as well as a regular pot. You can add in extra veggies like celery, corn, capsicum, and change the colours of the salad. I like adding in the extra veggies for the colour.
- ½ cup dried kidney beans
- ½ cup dried haricot beans (Cannelini Beans)
- ½ dried Lima beans
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ cup vinaigrette
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 small onion, red or brown, finely sliced.
- Optional extras:
- 1 capsicum, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 cup of drained whole kernel corn
- ½ cup celery
- Wash and pick over dried beans for any foreign objects. Cover beans with water and soak over night. Drain and rinse well. Cover with water and simmer gently for 40 minutes or until tender.
- Or, using a pressure cooker, cook under full pressure for for 7 minutes and slow release.
- Add salt. Drain and cool.
- Combine Vinaigrette, sugar and garlic. Pour this over bean. Add parsley and onion. Toss to combine. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. The more time the better the flavors have to infuse