Ménage à Bean

From the top clockwise, TexMex black bean salad, Indian kidney bean salad, Italian cannelini bean salad.

So I’m a bit behind on this post, as I promised it back during MemDay weekend.

Anyway, this is a tale of vegetarianism, lactose intolerance and side dishes that spreads across three continents. For the first BBQ (I’m using the term as a party featuring grilled food, as meant in Jersey) of the season, I decided to make something that Maidelitala (veggie/lactard) could actually eat since she was the one who invited me to the birthday party.

The first thing I could think of to cook was a bean dish. I knew she loved beans and although I’m new to liking the genre, I thought this would be a great way to experiment. I spied this cannelini bean recipe over at Cookthink. As it’s well documented that I can’t follow instructions, I messed up a bit on the adding water part (put in way to much) and then I forgot the vinegar and added it after I took it off the pan. To make it my own, I mixed in asparagus and diced red onion and served it at room temperature. My bean salad was surely a hit, especially smashed on a baguette.

But clearly, this is not the end of the story. As you can see pictured above, there were two other competing bean salads. And I shit you not, these three bean salads were the only non-grilled side dishes. It was super embarrassing. Luckily, all of the bean salads were different and delicious. Mine had a more Italian theme. The host’s mom made a TexMex black bean salad and Maidelitala created a stunningly tasty Indian bean salad. Her recipe post jump.

Indian Bean Salad

Now, Maidelitala dictated to me her recipe while I was slightly intoxicated. So, please, M, feel free to correct this in the comments. I do remember this being a very step-by-step recipe, but my notes mostly reflect ingredients rather than process. Shocking, I know.

Four spoonfuls of curry powder, 1 spoonful of turmeric, saute chickpeas with seasoning. Caramelize onions separately. Then add in cherry tomatoes, cumin, extra virgin, kidney beans and add everything together – stir in cilantro before serving. Or something like that.

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  • miked. June 24, 2008  

    not that she’s bound to cook the cuisine of her mother country, but our host’s mom is costariquena… sure that wasn’t Costa Rican instead of Tex-Mex?

  • Maidelitala June 24, 2008  

    it didn’t taste very Tico to me mike d…. but then I haven’t been back there since for (OMG) TWELVE years.

  • Maidelitala June 24, 2008  

    make sure you add a bit of salt once the onions start to caramelize to really bring out the sweet…. also I do believe I added about half a teaspoon full of nutritional yeast… because I VERY rarely cook without it these days. I know.. it’s a pyscho staple but I swear it adds a lot of vitamins and a yummy almost buttery taste

  • Maidelitala June 24, 2008  

    psst-psst… secret to beans: make sure any harder/denser beans such as chick peas and pigeon beans are sauteed for a long time. That way you’re digestive system can process the beans more efficiently and you won’t give more gas than necessary to the grill (so to speak)….

  • BS June 24, 2008  

    M’tla – I’m still waiting for a full post on this nutritional yeast thing! I’m mystified!

  • Maidelitala June 25, 2008  

    I know! I totally have to get my ass in gear. I’ve been attending to write a joint memo about Nut-Y with my very nearly erstwhile roommate who also is a BIG fan of the stuff. We have also sorts of yeast-using recipes to share.

  • Maidelitala June 25, 2008  


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