Sunday, 15 July 2012

Yes You Can!

Insalata di Cetriolo, Fagioli, Pomodorini e Salami
Cucumber, Cannelini Bean, Cherry Tomato and Salami Salad

Summer- time for salads, refreshing, light and healthy if you please! Sadly, potentially healthy salads often get coated with overly rich dressings, with too much fat and too many calories. Pouring a rich dressing over something that isn't really worth eating... isn't really worth eating! With green salads, an oil and vinegar dressing is the way to go- and even with a more substantial salad of tomatoes and beans. Keep it light!

Beans are great for Summer salads and there are a number of varieties that are actually better from the can than fresh. Cannelinis- especially the extra large ones are one good example and I used some to make a salad already yesterday- and today there was half a can still left over. So, just to put myself to the test, I used a couple of the same ingredients and tried to some up with something a little different. Like this...

What I did yesterday, was that I added some crushed garlic, a couple of leaves of basil and a little lime juice to the remaining half can of beans before refrigerating them. And you better believe that they tasted good by lunchtime today!

It was almost a shame to drain that juice from the can, but drain it I did- it had served its purpose by infusing all of the flavors of the added ingredients into the beans. Next, I removed the seeds from a 2" chunk of cucumber and cut it into strips, lengthways... it is nice to have a few different shaped ingredients in your salad.

I added 5-6 cherry tomatoes which I halved and a chunk of salami, also around 2", which I cut down into tiny slivers. These would add a savory, salty and chewy component to the otherwise juicy and fresh salad.

I added a little parsley, which I shredded down to a fine "chiffonade", as well as some finely chopped Spring onion. A little fresh thyme went in, as did a little pepper and salt, the juice of half a lime, a little squeeze of honey and a drizzle of olive oil. As you can see- with every ingredient it has been the case of a little goes a long way. And a lot of flavor with just a little effort. So grab yourself a can of good beans next time you are at the supermarket and turn it into something special and good!

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