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BEANS - THREE-BEAN SALAD WITH JICAMA AND ORANGE

Fields of Greens: New Vegetarian Recipes From The Celebrated Greens Restaurant
by Anne Somerville

Perfect for a summer picnic, this salad is surprisingly light and full of pleasing textures. The beans take on the sweetness of the orange and the heat of the chilies, while the crunchy jicama adds fresh flavor. For a simpler salad, use one or two of the beans instead of all three. Serve with tortilla chips and Pickled Red Onions.

Serves Four To Six

Ingredients
1/2 cup dried pinto beans, about 3 ounces, sorted and soaked overnight
1/2 cup dried black beans, about 3 ounces, sorted and soaked overnight
1/2 cup dried red beans, about 3 ounces, sorted and soaked overnight
Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1/4 medium-size red onion, diced, about 1/2 cup
Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup diced jicama, about 2 ounces
1 or 2 Jalapeno chilies, seeded and finely diced
Salt
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro

The beans will vary in cooking time, so cook them separately. Although it may seem laborious, you'll avoid undercooking or overcooking the beans this way.

Drain and rinse the pinto beans and place in a small saucepan; cover generously with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook at a gentle boil until tender, 40 to 45 minutes.

Cook the black and red beans separately; cover generously with cold water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Cook at a gentle boil until tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.

While the beans are cooking, prepare the vinaigrette and the rest of the salad ingredients. Bring a small pan of water to a boil and drop the onion in for 15 seconds. Drain well and toss with a splash of Champagne vinegar.

When the beans are tender, drain and transfer to a bowl. Toss the warm beans immediately with the vinaigrette, then add the onion, jicama, and chilies. Add salt to season. Sprinkle in the cilantro and serve at room temperature.

VINAIGRETTE
Makes about 2/3 cup

1 teaspoon minced orange zest
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground 
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons light olive oil
3 pinches of cayenne pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.

COMBINING CITRUS JUICE AND VINEGAR
We like the way a splash or two of vinegar brightens a citrus flavor and frequently combine the two in our citrus vinaigrettes—this winning combination is exceptional in a couscous salad or with Artichokes with Lemon and Mint.
Champagne vinegar or rice wine vinegar perfectly accents the fresh juice of tangerines, oranges, lemons, and limes. Sherry vinegar is delightful with orange juice, though it sharpens lemon juice just as well — enjoy it either way in a citrus vinaigrette tossed with warm new potatoes, asparagus, and English peas. A sprinkling of zest (citrus peel) brings the flavors to life—we almost always include it in our citrus vinaigrettes.
 

 

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