In this up-and-down weather at the moment, one day 38C, the next down to 20C, Summer trying to heat up but seemingly running out of fuel. We need to vary our food according to weather – when H O T , we do very very cooling dishes, when it cools we look for a little more substance.
Just right for the cooler Summer days is a Five Bean Salad – the beans add substance but it is still a salad, full of the tang of lemon and olive oil, Summery full of parsley.
Glorious Five Bean Salad
Take some soaked and cooked white beans e.g. Cannellini Beans; some soaked and cooked red beans e.g. Kidney Beans or Moth/Matki Beans; and soaked and cooked Chickpeas.
Mix them together with some sliced and quickly steamed Green Beans, and cooked, twice peeled Broad Beans.
Stir through finely chopped parsley and sliced spring onion (scallions) or red onion. Dress with a simple vinaigrette. Taste and season to taste with salt and black pepper, adding a little more lemon juice if needed.
recipe notes and alternatives
The creamy Broad Beans are a great contrast to the other salad components, but they can be replaced with yellow string beans (fresh butter beans) for added crunch and their lovely colour. Using yellow string beans is particularly useful when Broad Beans are not available. Other alternatives include yard long beans from your Asian grocery.
Twice peeled broad beans are beans that have been removed from their pod, then scaled for a few minutes or quickly boiled in water on the stove. Then, as they cool, the outer skin of each bean is removed. This is particularly necessary for older, larger beans. It improves the taste enormously.
I used frozen broad beans for this salad, as they are out of season now. The beans still needed to be double peeled.
Use canned chickpeas, cannellini beans and kidney beans for a quick salad.
Add a little chilli if desired.