I made a promise to myself on January 1 that 2013 would be My Year of the Salad. I am a human who has never particularly liked salads, but I want that to change. In an effort to convince myself that eating one’s veggies is actually not so bad I’ve been hunting down recipes for salads that look really appealing to me. I think I was under the misguided assumption that all salads include wilting iceberg lettuce, gross slimy dressing and weird leftover tomatoes. As it turns out, only my freshman year dining hall served that and tried to pass it off as salad – some salads are delicious! This salad, inspired by this recipe, is one of them. It’s light, pretty, and super yummy – the perfect way to welcome spring into your life via your tastebuds.
One small note: This salad is definitely not as delicious on the second day, so if you’re not planning to finish it in one sitting (either on your own or with appreciative dinner guests), I’d redress it when you re-eat it. Alternatively, you could store the bean mixture and the chopped part of the salad separately and combine them right before you eat, so everything remains fresh. I wish I’d done that, but oh well. Baby salad steps, right?
White Bean Spring Salad
1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of honey
1 tablespoon of chopped shallot
Garlic powder (optional)
1 can of small white beans
1 cup of sugar snap peas
5 mild radishes, thinly sliced
1 cup of chopped green onions
3 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
2 cups of chopped spinach
1. Chop up the shallot. One tablespoon of chopped shallot is way less than you think it’s gonna be, so if you chop too much just save the rest for when you make scrambled eggs for dinner tomorrow night (I’m not the only one who makes scrambled eggs for dinner, right?). Once the shallot is chopped, measure out the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, and shallot, and combine them in a small bowl. Whisk the mixture together – you can use a fork, not a whisk, don’t worry.
2. Drain and rinse your beans, let them dry off a bit, and sprinkle them with garlic powder if you want. That part is probably totally unnecessary, but I really love garlic and like to include it in everything. Once your beans are drained (and garlic-ed, if you so choose) add them to the olive-oil-honey-etcetera mixture and toss them really well. You want every single bean to be covered in the mixture — don’t leave anyone out, it will hurt their feelings.
3. Chop some stuff up! (Specifically, chop the sugar snap peas, the radishes, and the green onions.) The original recipe suggested heating up the sugar snap peas on the stove but I didn’t feel like it so I didn’t and it was totally fine. I chopped the sugar snap peas into long, thin pieces, the radishes into thin, translucent rounds, and the green onions into chunky chunks, but you can chop your things however you want to – just follow your heart.
4. Chop more stuff! (This time it’s the basil and the spinach.) FYI, the original recipe did not include spinach, but I have this weird belief that a salad isn’t a real salad if I don’t include spinach (I know, it makes literally no sense, just let it be) so I had to include some. Anyway, chop those greens!
5. Combine all your chopped stuff in a large bowl – that’s the spinach, the basil, the sugar snap peas, the radishes, and the green onions, whew! – and then pour the bean mixture in there and shake really well. I like to make my salads in a large tupperware bowl that comes with a lid so I can pop the lid on and shake shake shake to make sure everything is incorporated properly, but you’re a grownup and you should use your preferred method to toss a salad, obviously. I believe you know what’s best for you.
6. Put your salad in a bowl, admire how gorgeous and spring-like it is, and then take a few photos and pop that bad boy on Instagram. Don’t judge me – you know you want to. Enjoy!