Monday, July 18, 2011

Bean and Beet Salad

My coworker, Chiyoko, gave me a taste of her delicious little salad the other day when I was starving and too busy to stop for my lunch break. It was heavenly and so, of course, I grilled her for the ingredients, tweaked a few things, and concocted one of my own.

Bean and Beet Salad
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1 corn on the cob or can of corn
1 red onion,finely diced
1 jar of pickled beets or can of sliced beets, finely diced
Fresh basil, chopped
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper

Basically, you mix everything together. Pretty simple. You can add or subtract as you like. Chiyoko used celery, I swapped in green bell pepper. She used the canned beets instead of pickled and didn't have kidney beans at all. I may try cilantro instead of basil the next time I make this.

You may also want to play with the amounts. I used only half of the red onion because it was fairly big and I used just about half of the pickled beets because I didn't want the flavor to overpower. If I had used canned beets I may have used more. Regardless, save the juice to make Red Beet Eggs(*). Then I drizzled olive oil and about 2tsps of balsamic over it and mixed it well. I seasoned to taste with the salt, pepper, and cayenne and added a little more olive oil throughout the mixing process. Let it chill and serve as an easy summer side dish or take it to work for lunch (I plan to do both).

*Red Beet Eggs
1 jar of pickled beets or can of beets
Hard-boiled eggs

Once the eggs are boiled, put them in the fridge until they can be handled. The quick cooling helps in removing the shells. A wide-mouthed jar is ideal but I don't have one so I'm using a tupperware and sucking it up that it will probably be stained. You should get about 3/4 cup of juice from the can and maybe a little less from the jar. For the can juice, add white vinegar until you have 1 cup total. For the jar juice(which already contains vinegar), I used just a little white wine vinegar and then a little water to make 1 cup. Place shelled eggs, some sliced beets and juice into container. Seal and refrigerate for 8-12 hours. The eggs will be ready when they are a lovely reddish-purple.

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