I use the term salad very loosely. It refers to any and many combinations of warm, hot or cold ingredients tossed together in a bowl and then plated (or just dumped on an eating medium of some kind – sometimes hangry gets the better of kitchen-pretty). Like some of the other recipes on the site (think veggie burger or kale stem soup), this is more of a general idea than a specific recipe – so get creative, substitute and look at the different variations.
A note on dressings before we get into the actual cooking: the fresher the veggies and the more pronounced their flavors, the less I dress. But that’s a very personal thing. Feel free to smother it all in a Chili-Lime vinaigrette or go creamy with a Chipotle-Aioli. Whichever way you go, if you sauce – make it yourself, your taste-buds and body will both thank you! Or rather than a classical “dressing”, try a 1/2 cup or so of salsa instead.
Yield: 2 main course servings, 4 as a side
What you need:
- 1 cup cooked beans (cranberry, black, pinto, kidney, lima, cannellini, anything big)
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 ear of corn, shucked and kernels cut off the cob (or about 1 cup of thawed frozen kernels – make sure they’re dry rather than soggy though)
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1/2 avocado, diced
- as much or as little coarsely chopped cilantro as desired
- salt and pepper to taste
- lime juice to taste (or dressing, read the note on dressings above)
- drizzle of hemp, flax or olive oil to serve (optional, or dressing)
- warm tortillas to serve (optional)
What you do:
- Place the cooked beans, carrot and avocado in a mixing bowl.
- Heat a large pan (cast-iron is good) on medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion and corn and a healthy pinch of salt. Stir pretty constantly to avoid things sticking, until you get lovely browned bits on the veggies and they’re cooked through (6-8 minutes). Add the chopped cilantro, turn off the heat and stir to mix/wilt.
- Transfer the contents of the pan to the mixing bowl with the rest of the vegetables. Mix well, adding lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve, with warm triangles of tortilla, a drizzle of hemp seed oil and extra lime wedges.
Variations (use one or many):
- Add half a bell pepper, finely diced, either raw to the veggies in the bowl – or cook it up along with the corn and onion;
- Add a couple of finely sliced scallions to the veggies in the bowl;
- Add a dozen halved grape tomatoes to the mix;
- Add 1/4 cup of finely sliced black olives to the salad when tossing;
- Add some ground roasted cumin and oregano to the pan for extra flavor when cooking the corn and onions;
- Make things more substantial (and serve more people) by adding a cup of cooked quinoa, farro or rice. Adjust the amount of seasonings upward.