Fridge Salad

October 3, 2007


Okay, if you have a can opener, you can make this salad. Chop the veggies, boil the dressing, toss it all together, and stick it in the fridge. Every night—for weeks!—you’ll have your own ready-made salad. Of course, sharing would be nice … HARRY

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can French-style green beans, drained
1 (5-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and thinly sliced
4 medium center ribs celery, thinly sliced (1 1/2 cups)
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings (2/3 cup)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine the black beans, chick peas, green beans, water chestnuts, celery, and onion. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, vinegar, oil, mustard, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool. Pour over the vegetables and toss to coat. Cover tightly and chill. Salad will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.
Makes 8 servings.

Corn-Black Bean Gratin

August 10, 2007


This spicy corn-and-bean casserole is an all-weather favorite. Make it with fresh corn when the temperature is in the 90s. Make it with frozen corn when snow is on the ground. Either time of year, it will be a hit with anyone you serve it to. SAM

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 medium sweet onions
2 cloves garlic, pressed
4 ears steamed corn, cut off the cob or 2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 teaspoon curry powder or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon marsala wine or dry sherry
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup grated Jarlsberg or Swiss cheese
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons unseasoned breadcrumbs, divided
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 10-inch oval baking dish and set aside. In a large chef’s pan over medium heat, sweat the onions, covered, in 2 tablespoons olive oil, about 30 minutes. Add the garlic and corn and raise the heat to medium high. When the mixture is hot, add the curry powder and paprika and stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the marsala and stir for 1 minute. Add the beans. Remove from the heat and add 1/3 cup breadcrumbs and the cheese. Mix well and turn into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake for 45 minutes or until lightly browned.
Makes 4 servings.

Curried Black Bean Hummus

May 24, 2007


If you have beans, garlic, lemon, olive oil, and tahini, you have hummus. This variation calls for black beans and roasted red peppers, and your friends will eat it with a spoon. Season it to taste—as much curry as you want, more tahini, lemon, or olive oil, if you like. But, again, let the flavors meld for a few minutes before your final tasting. SAM

2(15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large roasted red pepper, drained and seeded
2 medium cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup tahini
Juice of 1 lemon (2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup olive oil, plus additional for serving
1 teaspoon hot curry powder or to taste
Sea salt to taste

Combine the beans, pepper, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, oil, curry powder, and salt. Blend until smooth with an immersion blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade. Drizzle with additional oil and serve with flatbread or chips.
Makes 3 cups.