January 05, 2022
A bean salad tucked away in the refrigerator has made for a wonderful late-night snack after busy nights at the restaurant, especially during the holiday season. Over the last few months, I’ve experimented with umpteen combinations, none of which I have stuck to.
I always start with soaking one cup of beans overnight (this cuts the cooking time in half), cooking them to softness the next day and adding a changing assortment of vegetables, herbs, nuts, or dry fruits. I’ve embellished some with roasted carrots, others with steamed asparagus, peanuts, walnuts, cilantro, mint and much more.
In the last few weeks, I finally arrived at a combination that I have made for three 3 weeks straight and one I am excited to share with you. Raw purple cabbage, celery and beans make the base of this salad, and one can go in so many directions with it.
It makes a great light lunch on its own or pairs it with a sandwich or soup. The best part is that cabbage and celery taste better wilted and after they’ve marinated in the juices for an hour or two. The salad tastes delicious for up to three days so use it for a healthy late-night snack.
Makes 6 cups
1 cup dried beans (black-eyed peas, pinto beans, black beans, garbanzo, etc.)
2 to 3 stalks of celery, sliced thinly
2 to 3 cups of purple cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1 small serrano pepper, minced (optional)
1 tablespoon ginger purée
Juice of 2 lemons
2 teaspoons sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 to 8 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
In a pot of salted boiling water, blanch the beans for 2 to 4 minutes. Drain and let them cool. Peel off and discard the skins of the beans.
Soak the beans overnight. The next day, drain the water and combine the beans with 4 cups of fresh water and bring to a boil. Discard any foam that may arise after boiling or better still, drain that water and use fresh water to bring it to a boil again. The foamy residue carries impurities that can cause indigestion. Cover the beans and simmer until soft. Drain.
In a large bowl, combine the celery, cabbage, raisins, pumpkin seeds, cilantro, serrano pepper, ginger purée, lemon juice, and salt.
In a small frying pan over high heat, warm the olive oil, fry the garlic just until white and pop the cumin seeds. Pour over the salad and toss. Refrigerate the salad for 2 to 3 hours and toss again.
Discard the bottom 4 inches of the cilantro bunch and chop the rest, leaves and stems.
The raisins add a touch of sweetness and balance to the salad but feel free to substitute with a dry fruit of your choice or a touch of honey or maple syrup.
To make the ginger purée, chop a few pieces of ginger (unpeeled), add a little bit of water and either process in a food processor or blender.
December 02, 2022