Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. Mark Twain
Since my house is a wreck while we have new hardwood floors installed it has been a bit of a challenge at meal time, but my simple weekend plan is to have “sandwiches” at least 1 day for lunch, a fun fire pit night with a reasonably healthy bean salad, cheesy burrata burgers and finally Chicago style hot dogs with loads of condiments and while not authentic I did find that Amazon does sell the sport peppers and the neon relish like what is found in Chicago….an unbelievable shade of green and there is actually an entire kit for the party, So I’ll order those products for our next adventure into Chicago hot dogs, but until then sliced pepperoncini and regular dill relish will have to do.
The bean salad will probably be a side for two days, burgers and dogs…I chose a recipe which I adapted from Heidi Swanson since this is the last of her recipes for the month and then we move on to another chef and his recipes in April, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Should be fun!
So for now here is the recipe that I chose and once again I did a bit of a pantry clean out in the bean department, not one can of white beans…the link to her original recipe is below, but I must say I did like this rather retro looking 3 bean version. I made the salad early and I will serve it chilled rather than warm or at room temperature as suggested.
Another slight adaptation to the recipe was that I pan roasted the carrots as suggested, turned the heat off and added a good amount of dressing to the hot pan and after a brief sizzle and bubble show I poured it over the bean salad, tossed topped with pan roasted slivered almonds and sprinkled with a little more fresh dill.
Carrot, Dill & White Bean Salad adapted from Heidi Swanson
Note: Heidi calls for 3 cups of cooked white beans instead of all the beans that used.
I didn’t add the sugar or honey since I tasted the salad and liked it without a sweetener.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots I diced the shallots
more olive oil (or ghee) for cooking
1-8 ounce package of haricot verts, cut into thirds, blanched for 4 minutes, cooled in ice water and drained
2 cups sliced carrots, cut 1/4-inch thick on deep bias
1/2 of a 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 of a 15 ounce can of yellow wax beans , rinsed and drained
1/2 of a 15 ounce can light kidney beans
scant 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons brown sugar (or honey) I didn’t use a sweetener
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and shallots in a small bowl. Stir and set aside.
Blanch the cut green beans for 4 minutes in salted boiling water, drain and chill down in ice water, drain again. Rinse and drain your bean choices if canned and toss into a big serving bowl.
“In your largest skillet over medium high heat, toss the carrots with a splash of olive oil or a spoonful of ghee (I love ghee with carrots). Let them cook in a single layer – they’ll give off a bit of water at first. Keep cooking, tossing gently every three or four minutes until the carrots are deeply browned. All told, about twelve minutes.”
Add the beans and dill to the skillet and cook for another five minutes, or until the beans as well heated through. If you are using beans that weren’t canned you can allow them to brown a bit as well (just cook a bit longer, and stir less frequently) – they can handle this in a way that most canned beans can’t. If you need to add a bit more olive oil to the pan – do so.
Place the contents of the skillet in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with the brown sugar and pour the 3/4 of the lemon-olive oil mixture over the top. Toss gently. Let sit for ten minutes. Toss gently once again, taste and adjust with more salt or sugar or lemon juice if needed to balance the flavors. Serve warm or at room temperature and finish by sprinkling with the almonds just before serving.”