Monday, August 1, 2011

Flageolets Salad with Goat Cheese and Bread

This is a very nice, complex, satisfying salad and it's very good for you too. Adapted from an old Bon Appetite recipe and something I read on the splendid table.
Flageolets Salad with Goat Cheese and Bread
(serves 4)
  • 1 cup flageolets or other white bean (flageolets are best, trust me), soaked in cold water overnight
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 yellow onion, halved
  • 1 rib celery
  • 1 carrot, halved
  • 2-4 sprigs parsley
  • Water to cover
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Drain the beans and place them in a covered pot with the onion, bay, celery, carrot, and parsley. Cover with water by 2" and cook 2 hours. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. You can do this days in advance and just keep the beans in the fridge.
  • Herb Dressing and Salad:
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fruity extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
  • 1 cup Cerignola olives, cut from the pits
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 large fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 clamshell fresh field greens
The dressing is for both the beans and for the salad. To make the dressing, whisk the 2 T. EVOO and 1 T. of lemon juice together. Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, and half the parsley and whisk in. Taste for balance and adjust with more olive oil or lemon. Toss half of the dressing with the greens and Cerignola olives.
To finish the beans, in a small skillet, a heat the remaining dressing for a few minutes, until the herbs and garlic sizzle a bit. Add the bean cooking liquid and the beans, increase the heat to high, and boil for 30 seconds or until warmed through, then simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Add the remaining lemon and remaining olive oil, if any and salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange the greens on plates, and mound a half cup of beans atop. Scatter the remaining parsley and basil over the salad. Serve with fresh goat cheese on toasted French or Italian bread. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.

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