A Cooking Post: What’s in the Frig Warm Salad

Let’s step away from the heavy issues long enough to get dinner ready. I’m still going vegan, er… plant-based, which let me assure you, are not quite the same things.

Last week’s CSA box brought enough food that I’m still trying to use it up. Today, my concern has turned toward the fresh green beans. Delivered to me within a day or two of harvest, they’ve been in my frig for a week. Time to use them.

But use them how? As a side to meat and potatoes? Of course not. Well… green bean casserole? Sure, provided I can make a vegan-based cream base with mushrooms. But I already used the mushrooms and I’m not into fake vegan food pretending it’s from an animal.

Meaning no soy milk or anything.

Ha, but Google came to the rescue. There was thiswhich got my gears turning. Believe it or not, it came via “Southern Cooking,” despite it’s Mediterranean flair.

Using what I had on hand, I first soaked and cooked a batch of Lima beans. Let me tell you, that’s different. All my life I hated Lima beans. I think we got them from cans or something, but yech. But the CSA, darn them, sent me a bag of dried Lima beans and I needed to use them. I wasn’t as afraid of  this idea as I might have been, thanks to my previous experience with black-eyed peas. I had a sneaky suspicion I would end up enjoying the Lima beans, and by golly, I was right. They were fine!

So I now have cooked Lima beans. I then put on a pot of water to cook some whole grain pasta. At the 8-minute mark, I added the green beans for a two-minute blanch, and a thinly sliced leek for one-minute. I put all this into a large bowl with a couple of cups of the Lima beans, and a potpourri of other refrigerator and pantry items that seemed like a good fit with the basic recipe: a jar of marinated artichoke hearts, some capers, several chopped, fancy olives from Whole Foods Olive Bar, some Pale Ale Mustard, and red wine vinegar. A little salt brought it all together.

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It was very good. Some roasted red pepper would look pretty and add a deeper flavor. Maybe next time.

Now I just need to use up the beets and beet greens.

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