Summer is still very much upon us.
Thinking a lot of my southern style sisters who are doing it tough right now in trying heatwave conditions.
When the weather is hotter than hot, I mainly resort to salad and some kind of protein cooked on the barbecue as a dinner staple.
Now, I’ve made some salads in my time but I still find that I forget what I used to make AND I just continue to make the same old thing every second day.
One person that very much inspires me in the salad department is my sister-in-law Sarah.
She inspires me so much that whenever we’re having a family gathering, I
demand gently suggest she bring one of her salads. They are never the same and they are always amazing.
Sarah is a vegan (but doesn’t get too offended when her salads are served up alongside sausages … my brother is very much NOT a vegan so it’s something she’s used to in their marriage). She is also a full-time teacher of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program.
The program is such a good one – kids are taught how to grow, harvest, prepare and share seasonal food at school.
The Italian bean salad with quinoa recipe I’m sharing below is one that Sarah uses in her program and one that she kindly added to the table on Sunday for our Australia Day party.
It includes an Italian agrodolce dressing. I had to look this up but I could tell by the flavours that it was a beautiful mix of sweet and sour from the vinegar and sugar. A bit like Thai salad dressings aim for that balance.
With the beans and the quinoa (you could use cous cous instead), you have a very hearty side and a possible main dish if you are vegetarian or vegan.
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons castor sugar
- 2 tablespoons currants
- 1 small Spanish onion
- 3 cups soaked, cooked cannellini beans
- 2 handfuls green beans
- 1 ½ cups cooked red quinoa
- 1 cup parsley
- ¼ cup oregano
- In a small saucepan whisk together vinegar and sugar until sugar
- dissolves. Turn off heat. Peel onion and chop into quarters; finely slice. Add onion and currants to vinegar mixture; set aside.
- Half fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Remove top and bottom of green beans; blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and put in bowl of cold water for a further 2 minutes; drain well.
- Slice green beans in half add to bowl with roughly chopped parsley and oregano. Add cannellini beans and vinegar mixture. Mix well to combine.