Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Beet, Bean, Apple & Belgian Endive Salad

I am sure we are all anxiously looking for every sign of spring we can find right now, and unfortunately they are not yet as thick on the ground - what ground? - as one might like. But here's one - it's my first bean salad of the season. Still pretty wintery with the beets, Belgian endive, and apples, but it still strikes the right note between hearty and refreshing.

Very easy to make, but you do need to cook the beets and beans ahead of time. If you wish to use canned beans, you should probably omit the salt, or at least taste the salad before adding any.

And hey! I am almost certain I saw a vulture yesterday morning, although I suppose it could have been a crow that was way closer than I thought. I don't think so though. It disappeared too quickly for me to get a good look, unfortunately. 

4 to 6 servings
20 minutes prep time, not including cooking the beets and beans

Beet, Bean, Apple & Endive Salad

Advance Preparation:
6 to 8 medium beets
1 cup dry white beans

Put the beets in a fairly large pot with water to cover them generously, and boil them for 45 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the water does not drop below the tops of the beets. Let cool.

Put the beans in another pot, and cover them generously with water. Bring them to a boil, then turn off the heat and leave them covered for several hours. Repeat this 2 or 3 more times, until the beans are cooked.

The beets and beans can - and should - be cooked at least a day before you plan to make the salad. 

Make the Dressing:
1/3 cup mayonnaise (light is fine)
the juice of 1 medium lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whisk the lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper into the mayonnaise.

Finish the Salad:
2 cups peeled diced cooked beets
2 cups cooked white beans
2 cups chopped Belgian endive (2 medium)
2 medium apples, cored and diced

With a little bit of luck, your cooked beets and beans yield the above quantities; otherwise adjust the other ingredients accordingly. If you don't have quite 2 cups of endive from 2 medium heads, throw in a small stalk of celery to make it up. (You can throw one in anyway, if you like).

Mix the beets, beans, endive and apples in a bowl, and toss with the dressing.

Last year at this time I made Cabbage with Feta Cheese Rice Casserole.

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