Friday, January 22, 2010

Beans glorious beans

This is going to have to be a short one... Busy seems to be my default setting at the moment.

This is not the sort of salad that you just throw together while the pasta's boiling as a cursory nod to health, greenery and convincing your mother you're eating well. With sweet, golden roasted baby carrots and earthy beetroot and it's more serious, wholesome and interesting than that. It's the sort of salad that you can pack up and take to work with you for lunch all week, and rather than getting soggy, it will actually improve.

This recipe was inspired by a recipe I picked up at Heidi's 101 cookbooks - I've made it a couple of times now with slightly different variations on the herbs, veggies and beans used, I'm pretty sure this one though is my favourite - although get back to me in a week or two and I may very well have a new favourite - after all, with bean salad, it never pays to be closed minded.

Carrot, Beetroot and Cannellini salad

1 bunch baby carrots
3 small/medium sized beetroots
2 cans cannellini beans - drained and rinsed
1/2 bunch of fresh parsley or dill - washed and roughly chopped
1/2 red onion - quartered and finely sliced
1tbs balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
Juice half a lemon
Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 200c

Wrap the beetroots tightly in silver-foil, place on a baking tray and pop in the oven for about an hour (or until a knife goes in easily)

Meanwhile scrub the baby carrots and trim off the leafy bits

Pop these in a roasting tray or baking dish and toss with 1tbs of olive oil and the balsamic - these go in the oven too for about 30mins or until just tender and golden.

Place the beans in a large fry pan or pot with a splash of oil and some salt and heat gently until warm.

Remove beetroot and carrots from the oven

Chop beetroot into approx 1cm chunks and carrots in simliar sized rounds

Quickly throw all ingredients (while still warm) into a bowl and toss well with the remaining oil and lemon juice.

Serve immediately with a savoury ricotta tart or on its own for a healthy, beany and satisfying lunch.

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