Last Saturday I was clueless as to what to make for dinner. My husband was at work and had taken the car, so I could only use what I had in my kitchen. Normally that isn’t an issue but since we returned from vacation a few weeks ago, we haven’t done a big grocery excursion. The fridge was
pretty sparse a barren wasteland. I had brought home some chicken breasts the day before and that was as far as I had gotten in menu planning.
As dinner time approached, I went on the hunt for a side dish, any side dish, but I kept striking out. No potatoes, no rice, and the only noodles I could find were for lasagna.
Then I remembered the butter beans that I had bought after making this salad a few months ago. I loved the dish so much I immediately added a few cans of the mild and creamy beans to my pantry in case I wanted to make it again. Since I didn’t have any of the ingredients for the original salad (of course), I knew I’d have to utilize what I did have.
A thorough fridge sweep and here’s what I came up with: garlic, celery, 1/8 of an onion (seriously?), green onions (yay!), pickled peppers (double yay!), a tiny wedge of Manchego cheese, a bit of Bibb lettuce and a lemon. Hm, I thought, this might actually work…
And commence the happy dance — it was amazing!
It was tangy, crunchy, full of spice and pretty to boot. The star of the show was easily the pickled peppers. They brightened the flavor of the beans and gave the salad the kick that it needed to be interesting. If there is a lesson here, it’s always have pickled peppers on hand. Always.
I served the salad on a bed of Bibb lettuce and topped it with crispy chicken breast cutlets. Surprisingly, it actually made a very cohesive meal — the spice and vinegar in the salad cut through the fat of the fried chicken perfectly, and the whole thing was even better with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Jessamine’s Butter Bean Salad w. Pickled Peppers
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 celery rib, peeled* and minced (*yes, I peel my celery)
- 5-6 green onions, sliced thinly
- 1/8-1/4 cup onion, minced (I love onions but not everyone does)
- 1/4 cup spicy pickled peppers (or roasted sweet peppers if you prefer)
- 1 TB Dijon mustard
- Sherry Vinegar, to taste
- EVO, to taste
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 cans of butter beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup grated hard cheese — Pecorino, Parmesan, Manchego
- Salt, pepper, chili flakes, to taste
- Greens (optional)
Take everything from the garlic through the Dijon and mix well in a large bowl. Add lemon juice, vinegar and oil until you have a nice tasty dressing. Add beans and lemon zest, stirring gently, season to taste. Let sit in fridge for at least an hour for flavor to meld. Serve on greens and top with grated cheese.
This would be amazing with any of the following added to it: fresh parsley, canned high-quality tuna, ham or bacon…