Bean Salad

I was sitting at work recently and asked if anyone had any requests for a recipe. Two people at different times asked for a bean salad recipe, so I am granting them their wish.

For this salad, I use two kinds of beans. One thing you want to remember is to go through your beans well before rinsing and soaking them to be certain there are no little stones in them, which is common, especially with black beans.

One thing you want to remember is to go through your beans well before rinsing and soaking them to be certain there are no little stones in them, which is common, especially with black beans.

Rinse, soak and cook the beans separately from each other. They should be allowed to soak overnight. As soon as they are done cooking, run them under cold water to stop them from overcooking. I use equal amounts of both beans and that it why it is a bean salad as opposed to a black bean salad that would have more black beans than navy beans.

I add corn, red or green pepper, red onion, cilantro and jalapeños, which are optional. Once the beans are ready, you can place everything in a bowl and mix together.

For the vinaigrette, stir all the ingredients together except the oil. Once everything has been whisked together, slowly whisk in the oil.

A basic vinaigrette is made with a ratio of one part vinegar to three parts oil with Dijon mustard and some kind of sweetener, such as sugar, honey, maple syrup or frozen fruit juice concentrate. Those ingredients are in almost all vinaigrettes, but there are always exceptions to the rule as well as to the taste buds. For this particular salad, I do not use any additional sweetener.

In a vinaigrette, I will vary the oil I use to complement and maximize the flavor of that particular dressing. I use a nice extra virgin olive oil for the salad so no ingredients are overpowered and in the taste there is still a hint of olive.

Refrigerate the finished salad for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to absorb. Add a bean salad to your next cookout and enjoy.

 

Bean Salad
8 oz. black beans
8 oz. navy beans
1 C corn
1 C red or green pepper, diced
1 C red onion, diced
¼ to ½ C chopped cilantro

Pick out any stones from the beans; rinse and soak overnight. Cook the beans until tender and immediately run them under cold water to stop them from over cooking. Place in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix together.

Vinaigrette
½ C cider vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
1½ t cumin
1 t garlic, minced
1½ C extra virgin olive oil

In a separate bowl whisk all the ingredients together except the oil. Slowly whisk in the oil. Pour over the salad and mix. Place it in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

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Chef Smitty

Smitty is a personal chef specializing in dinner parties, cooking classes and special events. Trained under Master Chef Anton Flory at Top Notch Resort in Stowe, Vt., Smitty is known for his creative use of fresh ingredients. Smitty has been teaching skiing at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows for more than 26 years each winter, and spends his summers working for High Sierra Waterski School since 2000. Smitty has been writing his chef column for Tahoe Weekly since 2005.