Monday, July 4, 2011

Recipe: Bean Salad

This past weekend has proven one thing. The summer heat has moved in and is here to stay!

I think very few things make me crankier than being hot and hungry. July and August have special potential to render me completely comatose depending on the heat index and hours since my last meal. Last week the weather was beautiful. I was on vacation enjoying beautiful 80-something days with very little humidity. Then the weekend showed up and a switch flipped and now here we are in the middle of another midwest summer.

The only thing that makes a hot summer day worse is cooking in a hot kitchen. This is ordinarily where a grill comes in so very handy; keep the heat outside where that fireball in the sky is already driving up the mercury and enjoy your food in the unadulterated air conditioning. One day I will own a grill and join the ranks of smart people who are leaving the heat outside in the summer. Until then...

July and August also seem to keep people busy in their kitchens (or at the least, in supermarket lines) to gather food to take to potlucks and barbecues. This particular recipe is covering both challenges: A tasty take-along for any summer event that will not cause your kitchen to become a thousand degrees.

Props to my wonderful vegetarian for this one. It was all him! I just stood around and backseat cooked, as usual. 

This recipe is intended to literally be thrown together. It is quick and the ingredients that aren't ready to go from their containers only need a bit of prep. The quantities also ensure you won't have to use half a package of something - you can easily buy exactly as much as the recipe calls for (except the onion, but I'm willing to bet you can easily find a use for the half left behind). It's best made ahead and refrigerated overnight, but it's entirely tasty right after you're done stirring in the last ingredient.

Summer Bean Salad
10 minutes
6-8 servings as a side

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • ½ white onion
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground pepper

  1. Dice the peppers and onion into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.
  2. Drain and chickpeas and corn and add to the peppers and onion.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Add to the salad ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

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