Phew, that was a lot to type for a blog title. I’ve been down with a horrid cold and cough combo this week so you can imagine that I haven’t been in the mood to do any elaborate cooking. Yesterday’s dinner may sound fancy and elaborate but it was actually about as easy as making pasta and a basic tomato sauce from scratch.
The three bean salad & balsamic vinaigrette recipes are both from one of my all-time-favourite cookbooks, Le Cordon Bleu Quick Classics. Sadly it’s out of print, but you can pick up used copies for almost nothing from various online booksellers.
A quick word on amounts and ingredients: the recipe originally calls for kidney beans, chickpeas and French beans. I could have sworn blind that we had French beans kicking around in the freezer, but…we didn’t. Insert massive eye roll here. We did have frozen peas. Not one to be defeated that’s what I substituted and that’s what you’ll see in the picture at the bottom. Tasted great. Don’t tell the French on me. The salad recipe makes enough for 4 and I tweaked the vinaigrette slightly by using a bit less oil but adding a tad more balsamic vinegar after refrigeration time was over. Final note before I shut up and give you the recipes: the salad takes about 5 minutes to assemble, maybe 6 if you’re blindfolded, but take into account that it needs to sit in the fridge for 4 hours in order for the flavours to come out. Okay, let’s get cracking:
Three Bean Salad
15o g French beans
1x 400g can red kidney beans
1x 400g can chickpeas
1 small red onion, to serve
“Cut the French beans into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths and cook in salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes until al dente. Drain and rinse under the cold tap. Drain and rinse the canned beans and chickpeas. Drain again and place in a bowl with the French beans and the vinaigrette (see below) mixed with sugar to taste. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours or overnight. To serve: toss well and taste for seasoning, then turn into a serving bowl. Finely slice the onion and arrange over the top.”
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons sunflower oil
Finely chop the garlic. Whisk the vinegar with the garlic and salt and pepper to taste, then whisk in both kinds of oil until thick.”
Fresh scallops are difficult to come by here, so I used one bag of frozen scallops (yielded 18 small scallops, in case this helps)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt & pepper
If using frozen, thaw scallops, rinse under cold water in a colander, pat dry. Heat a few glugs of olive oil in the pan, and on medium heat fry your scallops for 1 and a half minutes on each side, 3 minutes total. Quickly place on a piece of paper towel (kitchen roll) to absorb some of the excess oil, then arrange over your plated bean salad. Sprinkle with a bit of lemon juice plus salt and pepper to taste. Devour.