Marion Cotillard (photog. Mario Testino) / via my Pinterest
I feel like legumes deserve an apology from me.
For so long the dodgy, mass produced versions of legume salads that lurk in the corners of supermarket delis, constituted the sum total of my legume-salading experience and it put me off big time. I breezily dismissed them and their ilk as hippie bullshit and went about gnawing on yet another block of cheese.
Sorry, guys. I knew not the ignorance of my bean-denying ways.
It wasn’t until I started experimenting with making beans et. al a feature in my home made salads, and hit on a recipe that I truly love that I saw the light. You really can’t judge something until you have had it fresh. Fresh-as-fuck is always gonna be where the flavour sweet spot is.
Once I hit on a rad recipe, I began experimenting with legume salads more often and came to appreciate the versatility of cannellini beans, navy beans, kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils (etc!) in a way I never had before.
One thing I love about beans in particular is that they are often great flavour absorbers. In this recipe red kidney beans become infused with the juicy tang of citrus, soaking up a cumin-kissed lemon and lime based dressing.
The contrasting texture and satisfying nutty bite of the chickpeas balance the dressing-plumped beans. And finally, fragrant fresh basil lends its sunny flavour to wrap everything up nice and tight (and tasty!).
The yummy spiced citrus dressing might be the real star of the show in this recipe; next time I throw it together, I will make a double batch and use the leftovers to drizzle over salad greens or steamed broccoli. The flavours in the dressing lend themselves really well to a Mexican or Moroccan inspired meal.
As is the case with so many legume based salads, this keeps very well for a few days when refrigerated in a sealed container. It is perfect- for a quick snack or wildly easy lunch.
Kidney Bean and Chickpea Salad with Spiced Citrus Dressing
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed thoroughly
1 x 400g can red kidney beans, drain and rinsed thoroughly
handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped finely
handful parsley, chopped finely (optional)
1 – 1 1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
Spiced Citrus Dressing
1/4 – 1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp chilli powder
juice of two medium lemons
juice of two limes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
What to do:
Add dressing ingredients to a lidded jar (or bowl) and shake (or whisk) until very well combined.
Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix gently until dressing is evenly distributed.
Pour salad into a sealable container and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. This lets the dressing soak in good and proper.