LOS ANGELES, May 10, 2014 – Throughout the summer it’s nice to indulge in simple salads such as this white bean and artichoke mélange. The hot weather pairs beautifully with the cool greens, marinated artichokes and cannelloni beans.
The best part about salads is making them. Salads are a great way to get your kids involved with the making of meals. It’s no secret that vegetables are a challenging food to get your kids to eat, so by having them help, you just might get them to eat it.
Curious Chef makes convenient kid- (and adult-) friendly kitchen tools to get them excited about cooking.
Here are a few things to consider when buying, prepping and cooking a few key ingredients for this salad.
Buying: Artichokes can come packed in water, marinated with oil, vinegar and spices, and frozen. Any of these three would be acceptable for the recipe, but each will vary the flavor a bit.
Prepping: Rinse the artichokes and cut into quarters making the slice go through the heart of the artichoke.
Cooking: Gently stir them because otherwise their leaves will fall off.
Buying: Any white bean will do. They are sometimes labeled great northern bean or white kidney bean.
Prepping: Rinse them well and soak in water to remove excess salt and to release any gases that reside in the beans. Cooking: Be careful not to overcook them. They can break apart if cooked too long.
Buying: Leeks are the strange long, green and white cylindrical looking vegetable that look like spring onions but are bigger and stockier bunch. Find this vegetable in the cold area of the produce section, as they need to be refrigerated.
Prepping: Cut the root end off and also the dark green top. Cut it in half length-wise and rinse well under water keeping the leaves intact. Cut the leek into consistent sizes to make cooking easier.
Cooking: Use a little more oil than normal and keep a close watch.
White Bean and Artichoke Salad
Time: 75 minutes Servings 4
1 can cannelloni beans
1 yellow onion diced
½ a leek diced
1 can marinated artichokes
1 cup of arugula
2 lemons (juice)
1 cup toasted rustic white bread cubes
¼ cup Champagne vinegar
3 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a colander rinse the can of beans. Remove the skin of your garlic and cut the brown end off. Then lightly smash it with the flat part of your chef knife. Then chop the garlic to fine mince and set aside.
Next, wash the leek and remove the top (cut right before the leek turns dark green) and the growing end. Then cut the leek in half and then into ¼ in sized pieces.
Cut the top of the onion and then peel the outer layer of the onion. Next cut the onion in half. Then hold onto the onions growing end and use a knife to make multiple long cuts from the growing end to the opposite end. Take the knife and dice the onion by cutting in the opposite direction of the long cuts. Set aside on the cookie sheet in a pile.
Next, wash and dry the lemons and cut them in half.
Now work on the bread. First cut the bread into 1-inch pieces. Then toss in a little olive oil and salt. Place the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 5-6 minutes or until crunchy.
In a large bowl add the breadcrumbs, parsley, olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
White bean medley: Sauté the onions, leek and garlic in a sauté pan with 2 tbsp olive oil. Set aside to cool. Toss the white beans with the onion, leek, garlic, and artichoke hearts. Add the lemon juice from 1 lemon, and then the Champagne vinegar to the white bean mixture and arugula. Toss it all together.
Place the white beans in the middle of the plate and top with shaved Parmesan.
For more great cooking tips, recipes and stories from Chef Mary, visit her website at marypaynemoran.com
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