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Make This Bean & Grain Salad for Westchester Potlucks

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Adobe Stock / Denira

This recipe is by Chrys Napolitano, owner of Two Wrasslin Dogs Farm and teacher of cooking classes at the Westchester Local Food Project.

This recipe makes a large quantity, excellent to bring to a barbecue or potluck (especially one with vegans and vegetarians attending) and perfect for creating multiple meals over the week.

bean and grain salad

By Chrys Nopalitano

Bean & Grain Salad

—Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1½ lb bag dried cannellini beans (Stoneledge Farm preferred but can use another variety)
  • 1 lb of farro (can substitute with spelt, barley, or wild-rice mix), cooked per package instructions and set aside to cool
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 cup asparagus, diced and sautéed
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup fresh carrots, diced
  • Microgreens for garnish

Preparation

Soak the beans overnight in water (water should cover beans by 2 inches). In the morning, drain the beans and put in a large, heavy-bottom, cast-iron saucepan. Fill with water, covering by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer for 1½–2 hours. Drain and set aside to cool.

Heat up the olive oil and add the garlic and tomato paste into the cast-iron saucepan. Once the mixture is bubbling, but not burning, add the beans and water to almost cover. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer for 1 hour. Check for texture and add salt to taste. Do not add salt to beans until they are done cooking, as it affects the texture of the beans. Allow beans get to room temperature.

In a large frying pan, heat the avocado oil. Divide the farro into two batches and spread the first batch into an even layer in the heated oil. With the flame on medium-high, set a timer for four minutes. Toss farro about, pat it down to a layer, and set a timer again. Repeat four times until rice has a slight golden brown and a crispness to it. Add to beans and then repeat with the second batch of farro.

Add vegetables to beans (substitutions may be made based on what is in season and personal preference; use some raw and some sautéed) and dressing (recipe below).

Dressing

For the dressing, utilize whatever fresh herbs you may have on hand. In a mini-food processor, combine 3 cups of any combination of cilantro, mint, and parsley with 1 minced garlic clove. Add ½ teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 minced hot pepper (optional), ½ teaspoon sugar, the juice of one lemon, and salt to taste.

Related: Summer Barbecue Recipes From Westchester’s Top Women Chefs

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