Friday, March 1, 2013

Bean salad for a crowd features artichokes, hearts of palm

Hearts of palm and artichoke hearts in bean salad? You bet -- they're just two of the ingredients that make this version unique.

The recipe is a slight variation of one that Neiman Marcus shared with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a few years ago. (For that recipe, click here.) Like the original recipe tester, I thought the salad had too much dressing or not enough beans. This version, though, is just right.

I made this salad for a recent gathering of 16 women and had leftovers. I continued the picnic-in-winter theme with Slow-Cooker Barbecue Beef Sandwiches, made with 6 pounds of chuck roast instead of arm roast, and Deviled Eggs.

This recipe has a lot of ingredients, but it goes together quickly. To make it even easier, buy quartered artichoke hearts and pieces of hearts of palm, then cut into small segments if necessary.

Yield: About 12 cups

For salad:
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
1 (14- to 15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14- to 15-ounce) can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
1 (14- to 15-ounce) can pinto beans or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1  (14- to 15-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1  (14- to 15-ounce) can hearts of palm, drained and cut in thirds on the diagonal
2 cups diced celery
1 cup finely diced or thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

For dressing:
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 roasted red pepper, chopped coarsely (see note)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the salad. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add grean beans and cook just until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a bowl with ice water. When beans are done cooking, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the ice water. Let cool, then drain well, pat dry and cut into thirds on the diagonal.

Place green beans in a large bowl. Add canned beans, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, celery, red onion and 1/4 cup parsley. Toss to mix well.

Prepare the dressing. Combine all the ingredients in a blender; process until well combined, about 30 seconds.

Pour dressing over salad mixture and stir gently but well. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Return to room temperature before serving. (Salad keeps well for up to a week.)

Note: If you don't want to buy an entire jar of roasted red peppers or roast a pepper yourself, check the olive bar in your supermarket.

Copyright 2013 by Judith Evans. All rights reserved.

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