Bean meaning to mention…..

28 Dec

Beans! Well, not just beans but Winter salads.  Winter doesn´t have to mean an end to fresh delicious salads, but the colder weather means we probably want something a little more robust but no less fresh and delicious to eat as a light meal or to accompany grilled meats, fish or whatever takes your fancy.

Especially after Christmas, and all that heavy food, these are welcome light meals to ease the strain on the waistband. And talking of Christmas, belated greetings to you all and apologies for the silence. Almost regular service will be resumed this week, and I hope that you all had a wonderful time with your loved ones, I will be slowly catching up with your blog posts over the next week or so.

Anyway, back to the food.  We´ve been trying to support local shops as much as possible and to buy locally grown, seasonal vegetables in the absence of our own veggie garden or store cupboard. Sometimes though, you just have to give into cravings and buy things that are out of season or grown elsewhere. Green beans seem to be everywhere in the supermarkets now, along with mange tout and runner beans. Maybe it´s my body craving something fresh and crunchy that makes me respond to the vibrant green colour. Who knows, but the beans were delicious!

Ingredients are flexible in these two tasty dishes, they´re just meant to inspire you, not dictate to you. Use what you have available, enjoy the fresh flavours.

Bean & asparagus salad (1)

Green Bean and Asparagus Salad

  • Blanch green beans and asparagus until just tender, then run under cold water to stop them cooking further. Chop into bite sized pieces, add halved cherry tomatoes, a chopped avocado and some hard boiled egg. Sprinkle over some sliced jamon or grilled bacon (leave out for a veggie version) and dress a mix of with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, English mustard, a pinch of sugar and seasoning.

 Potato, bean & caper salad (4)

Potato, Roasted Red Pepper, Bean and Caper Salad

  • Mix together cubed boiled potatoes, strips of roasted red peppers, green beans and halved caper berries.  Make a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and zest and salt and pepper. Mix the salad gently. As a little added luxury, drizzle over some truffle oil.

40 Responses to “Bean meaning to mention…..”

  1. PendleStitches December 28, 2012 at 21:27 #

    After the food fest of the last week or so, the thought of a winter salad is sooooo appealing! 😉

  2. gardenfreshtomatoes December 28, 2012 at 21:31 #

    Great ideas, all the way around. I’ve already finished up last summers green beans, but there are some good frozen types in the market!
    Good to see you back – hope your holidays were happy!

    • Chica Andaluza December 30, 2012 at 21:22 #

      Yes, last summer´s beans are but a dream now 😦

  3. Mad Dog December 28, 2012 at 21:48 #

    That’s exactly the kind of antidote to I need to read after Christmas (I was sick of reading about turkey by Thanksgiving) – now back to cooking my goose supper 😉

    • Chica Andaluza December 30, 2012 at 21:22 #

      Ooh, I love goose but haven´t cooked one for years…I bet it was good!

  4. Marianne December 28, 2012 at 21:48 #

    I love salads at any time of the year, and am always ready to mix together all kinds of veggies to make a delicious winter salad. Your two look very appetising!

    Especially love the colours in your Green Bean and Asparagus Salad.

    All the best for the New Year, Tanya 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza December 30, 2012 at 21:23 #

      There´s something about the colours that makes you feel healthy!

  5. spicegirlfla December 28, 2012 at 22:09 #

    I love this Tanya! And I’m so ready to start enjoying lighter meals after all this rich holiday food! Since I’m no longer in warm weather, this cold weather has me making more comfort, heavy meals. I need to mix in a salad like this for sure. Hope your holidays are merry!

    • Chica Andaluza December 30, 2012 at 21:24 #

      Lighter meals are definitely needed after the over indulgence of Christmas, but hey…every so often right?! Good to hear from you Linda, do hope all is going well for you!

  6. Calico Stretch December 28, 2012 at 23:56 #

    Aren’t beans wonderful. We will be having salads tonight for dinner too me thinks so thank you for the ideas :o)

  7. Eha December 29, 2012 at 03:48 #

    Two delightful, appetizing salads – don’t really think these are just winter ones, or my menus have been out of whack for weeks 😉 ! So agree with MD about turkey: OK, perchance one ‘normally’ does not serve stuffed squid and Greek octopus at Christmas: but actually it tasted great! A very happy New Year to you and yours!!!

    • Chica Andaluza December 30, 2012 at 21:24 #

      Stuffed squid and octopus sounds marvellous to me!

  8. narf77 December 29, 2012 at 04:16 #

    That salad looks delicious and we are in the middle of summer! I especially love caper berries and potatoes are my staple food. Pair it with sweet cherry tomatoes fresh from the bush and some nice julienne cucumbers and a good mustardy dressing and who needs anything else? My bean vines are going nuts at the moment and no doubt, we will get more than we can hope to use. I will be putting some of them into a salad reminiscent of this one in the very near future. Glad you had a lovely day an got to share it with friends and family. We did the seasonal locavore thing and it was really lovely and we picked our own salad veggies from our garden…NOTHING beats that 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza December 30, 2012 at 21:25 #

      It sounds like things are going very well at Serendipity Farm right now and picking your own veggies really can´t be beaten!

  9. ChgoJohn December 29, 2012 at 07:28 #

    Both salads are a welcome relief, Tanya. With New Years right around the corner, I’ll certainly be looking for some lighter fare very soon. As I recall, Mom prepared a potato and green bean salad when I was a boy. She served it at room temperature and it was a nice change of pace. Since I haven’t her recipe, I’ll just make yours and think of you both as I dine. 🙂
    I hope you, your Big Man, and all the folks on the Mountain have a wonderful New Year!

    • Chica Andaluza December 30, 2012 at 21:26 #

      Hi John and thanks for sharing your memories! We too used to eat these sort of salads when I was younger and I always called them “hot and cold salads” as the potatoes were usually mixed in while still hot and they soaked up all the gorgeous olive oil and dressing…mmm. Buon anno to you, Zia and al your loved ones 🙂

  10. thecompletecookbook December 29, 2012 at 08:03 #

    Ooh, I don’t know which one I want to eat first Tanya, both look fantastic! Hope you and Big Man had a lovely Christmas. I will get back to blogging in the New Year – just a few more sleeps.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza December 30, 2012 at 21:27 #

      You enjoy all those sleeps and the days in between!

  11. Food,Photography & France December 29, 2012 at 10:14 #

    Nice salad. I certainly need some light food after last week:)

    • Chica Andaluza December 30, 2012 at 21:27 #

      Yes, the waistbands here are straining a little 😦

  12. chaiselongue1 December 29, 2012 at 15:17 #

    Capers are great for giving a sharp, fresh flavour to salads in winter. All the delicious avocados in our markets now come fresh from Andalucia too!

    • Chica Andaluza December 30, 2012 at 21:28 #

      Avocados are grown in abundance quite close to us, but it´s just not quite warm enough up our mountain to grow them ourselves 😦

  13. themateriallady December 29, 2012 at 16:27 #

    I’m always in the market for a nice salad!

  14. Tammy December 30, 2012 at 01:07 #

    I love the idea of a few light winter meals after all the festivities!

  15. Tandy December 30, 2012 at 06:53 #

    I can relate to needing fresh vegetables! Did you see where they came from? Hope you had a great Christmas Tanya 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza December 30, 2012 at 21:29 #

      I think the beans came from Kenya! Long trip for them 😦

  16. Bam's Kitchen December 30, 2012 at 10:13 #

    I hear you loud and clear on feeling a little guilty about overindulging this holiday. I think my teenage boys might even eat the bean and potato salad as it looks quite hearty and tasty. Happy 2013 to you! BAM

    • Chica Andaluza December 30, 2012 at 21:29 #

      Wow – if teenage boys would eat something like this you´ve certainly been training them well!

  17. adinparadise January 1, 2013 at 17:50 #

    Love this recipe. Thanks so much. Copied and pasted for when I get back to Florida in a couple of days. 🙂

  18. Promenade Claire January 1, 2013 at 18:58 #

    Sounds and looks good ! I think our bodies do tell us when they want a fresh veggie fix. Love squeaky beans in salads, and your salad is totally tempting

  19. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen January 2, 2013 at 00:47 #

    I’ve been craving fresh greens as well.. this is such a pretty salad.. very festive in colors and so quick to put together, perfect for after the business of Christmas baking and cooking. xxx

  20. Martyn Thompson January 3, 2013 at 19:04 #

    Wow, making me hungry!

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