Our last newsletter featured a lot of different salads as part of a query from our Facebook page. (Aren't we "as modern as tomorrow" here at Rancho Gordo? I write this on a blog, about our email newsletter and reference Facebook. How can I get Twitter in here? Pinetrest?)
I became inspired and came up with this stupidly easy salad that was frankly the hit of a recent picnic. I felt a little silly accepting credit but I somehow managed to get beyond that bit of modestly and took a full bow as my guests devoured their portions.
Inspired by my friend Jill Nussinow, The Veggie Queen, who insists that pressure cookers are the way to go, I decided to make this salad from scratch and use the pressure cooker for the garbanzos. I added one pound of unsoaked beans, half an onion and water to cover by two inches. Once the pot got to full pressure, I cooked them for about 20 minutes. I quick released the pot and the beans were about 80% done. I removed the lid, salted the beans and let them cook for another 20 minutes and they were just about perfect, for a salad. I still think it's not the best technique for beans for me but to have a full pound cooked within an hour of a bean whim is pretty incredible.
My salad was:
- 1 pound of garbanzos, cooked, still a little warm. I'd guess they'd grown to five or six cups
- olive oil
- sherry vinegar
- one half white onion, sliced, chopped and then rinsed with cold water
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon Oregano Indio
I started the olive oil and vinegar in a bowl. I like things more acidic than most but I used my discretion with the sherry vinegar as this was for a lot of different people. I then added all the other ingredients, one at a time. Apparently it's a good thing to add the dressing while the beans are still warm and it allows them to absorb more. I don't know if this is science, but it seems reasonable.
I didn't have any parsley or cilantro and as you can see, it needs some green. I minced a small handful of salad greens and that did the trick.
So I declare this to be the summer of salads. As much as I love a bowl of hot bean love, there's something really refreshing about a salad and I get a real kick out of the creaminess of the beans against the crunch of celery and carrots.