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Salad Base

What you need: 

1 can red beans, drained and washed
1 can black beans, drained and washed
1 can corn, drained
1 medium sized onion, diced
1 large cucumber, diced
1 cup fresh coconut, shredded or ground
1 bunch parsley, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro, minced
1 can black olives, drained and sliced
1 can green olives, drained and sliced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped pecans
chilies to taste
1 pound greens* (see note)

What you do: 

I was talking with a friend about the Lenten Fast (not a clue how it came up), and created this recipe for her the next time it comes around. I realized that it's also vegan, so I figured I'd share the wealth. The coconut is not required, but it does lend a really nice flavour to the backdrop.
The reason for the lack of oil in the dressing is that her family observes the Lenten Fast with no oil. Anyway, on to the instructions.
Combine the red and black beans, the corn, the diced onion (if it's a red onion, feel free to make them into half-moon slices), cucumbers, coconut, parsley, cilantro, green and black olives, walnuts, pecans, and chilies and toss well.
At the table, serve each diner with a heap of the salad, and arrange a few pieces of tomato over it. (If you leave the tomatoes in the main bowl of salad, they will start to break down, and turn everything into a watery mess.)
If you choose to serve this salad with any sort of greens, feel free to, but make sure that you pile them on top of the greens at the table (as the other ingredients will also cause the lettuce to degrade if you have any leftovers).
Dressing:
8 oz of canned chick peas, drained and washed well[br] 1/4 cup lemon juice[br] 2 tablespoons tahini[br] 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)[br] 1 teaspoon paprika[br] up to 1 cup of water, reserved
Combine all the ingredients (except water) into a blender, and start pulsing until the ingredients start to come together.
Drizzle in the water, 1/4 cup at a time, and puree the whole thing until it's smooth. You want it to be able to pass through a sieve. Serve drizzled at the last minute over the salad.
*Also, this salad, although it's lovely on its own, is really meant to be a sort of salad "base," from which you can get started on a dizzying array of interesting and varied salads. All you'd really need to do is vary the greens, and you'd have a completely different tasting salad every time. Start with an easy choice of romaine lettuce hearts. Get more adventurous, and experiment with frisee, arugula, watercress, or chard. Also, this base is an excellent stuffing for sandwiches, wraps, or as a nice side dish (without the lettuce) to a heavy meal. I tend to be partial to this particular blend, because it's so versatile in texture and flavour.

Preparation Time: 
20 minutes
Cooking Time: 
Servings: 
6
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

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