Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Assyrian-style bean salad

Things middle-eastern people love (in no particular order):
...pita bread,
...making dolma together,
...pickled mango,
...food full of greens

and (drumroll please) bean salad.

Why is it that we love food that makes us so gassy??

There are no answers to this question, other than they taste so damn good. Plus they're uber healthy. And this bean salad is literally one of my favorite foods. Whenever my mom or aunts make it for a family gathering I end up eating at least 3 bowls. I just. can't. stop.

I don't know what it is about this salad that I love so much. It's incredibly simple, but pops with flavor. Between the tart lemon juice, the crunchy celery, the earthy parsley and cilantro flavor, and the creamy sweetness of the beans, this is pretty close to perfection in a bowl for me.

This bean salad is one of the few things that I make over and over and over again. It takes no time to throw together, makes a giant batch, and is the perfect side dish to any meal. 

Or if you want to mix things up a bit (I'm crazy like that sometimes), you can throw in some leftover pasta, baby spinach, and tomatoes for a delicious main dish.

Buen provecho,

Assyrian-style bean salad, adapted from my family

You can use any kind of beans you like for this salad. Growing up my mom made it almost exclusively with dark red kidney beans, but these days I like mixing it up a bit with different kinds of beans. Dark red kidney beans + black beans + white beans are on regular rotation. Feel free to throw in some diced orange bell pepper too for some extra color and flavor.

3 cans of beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch of parsley, minced
1 bunch of cilantro, minced
2-3 stalks of celery, diced
3 green onions, sliced
juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, or more to taste
juice of 1 lime, or more to taste
a very healthy glug or two of extra-virgin olive oil (I eyeball this but I'd say at least 1/4 cup; you need oil to help keep everything together and prevent it from being overly dry with all the greens in it)
salt and pepper, to taste

  • Throw all the ingredients into a large bowl.
  • Mix together and enjoy!
p.s. Don't forget to give the salad a good mix every time you serve it. The dressing tends to separate from the beans and that liquidy goodness needs to be distributed back to the whole salad. I make a giant batch for the week for the boy and I (it's a hearty salad that can survive a week in the fridge), but I could easily put away an entire batch myself.


Hector Caro-Gonzalez said...

Tried it. It is pretty awesome. Thanks Jackie!

Alana Conner said...

This recipe is the shizz! I now prepare it at least once every week. It's great for vegans and vegetarians who are trying to reduce their tofu intake but don't have many quick and easy bean recipes in their repertoire. Thank you for sharing this, and thanks to your family for concocting it!

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