Spices and Seasons – Smashed White Bean Salad

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What a crazy week we have had, the temperature hitting the hundreds and sticking on for an entire week! In fact, it really is a rare week when I am out of the kitchen, or in there just for the essential cooking. So, I did not think that I would have a new recipe for you, which might be just as well, since I have several recipes sitting around waiting to be posted, shared and enjoyed.

Smashed White Bean SaladWe have been turning to beans and lentil based salads to help. These salads tend to offer a good generous dose of protein and crunch without the cook having to spend hours in the kitchen. Beans and legumes not surprisingly are a huge favorite amongst the hotter silk route countries, think hummus. I do cook my beans at home, this makes for a huge depth of flavor and since, I use a slow cooker for cooking beans and lentils I do not have to worry about energy and heat.

Chickpeas tend to be quite a favorite amongst the beans, and here are some interesting possibilities with chickpeas. A well spiced traditional chickpea and potato salad from my cookbook, The Bengali Five Spiced Chronicles, and a chickpea and quinoa salad that I have shared on my blog here.

On Friday, for the grand finale, I decided to mix up my legumes and tried white cannellini beans. This can be made with any kind of white beans, the key is to ensure that the beans are cooked until soft. The salad that emerged was so simple, and delicious that my kids scoffed down the first batch and my daughter helped me mix together the second batch. This salad is really a cross between a dip and a salad and can be a lovely meal over crusty slices of bread.  Yes, the tomatoes were from the garden and they seem to be relishing the heat. So, this week I shall be enjoying the fruits (such as cucumber and tomatoes, that the garden has scattered in abandon) and believe it or my last minute inspiration is what I have waiting for you today.

Spices and Seasons – Smashed White Bean Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

A simple and hearty salad that is perfect for a summer meal on the porch.

Ingredients

  • 11/2 cups cooked cannellini beans (1 cooked them in the slow cooker for about 1 hour)
  • 1 teaspoon black salt plus extra salt to taste
  • Lots of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 large ripe red tomato, diced
  • 1/2 medium sized red onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, diced
  • 2 green chilies, minced (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mash the beans until nice and soft, this can be done with a fork or your hand.
  2. Stir in the black salt and additional salt (if using) and the black pepper.
  3. Mix in the extra virgin olive oil, lime juice and mix well.
  4. Lightly mix in the tomato, onion, cilantro and green chilies and mix well.
  5. Serve with crackers or crusty bread.
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About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, is a daytime financial professional, who spends the rest of her time immersed in food. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences, original recipes that combine Indian spices with produce from her backyard and local farmers markets. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past six years. Rinku is also the author of the Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook, that highlights and offers many simple Indian recipes off the beaten path. Her second cookbook, Spices and Seasons, uses the approach in this column and marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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