Sunday, March 13, 2011

Quick Carrot Bean Salad

In most of the cookbooks I own, I have post-it notes on many of the pages flagging recipes I'd like to try one day. Or, stuck in the first page, is a handwritten list that I jotted down when going through the book for the first time. I also have a long list on my laptop of ideas I have for recipes to try and eventually blog about one day. My inspiration often comes from these orderly sources or sometimes I can make something quite good on the fly.

This quick salad is one of those freestyled meals that actually worked. The other morning, with one eye on the clock, I was faced with bringing an emergency frozen meal to work for lunch, buying something over my break, or spending a few extra minutes attempting to whip something together. In the interest of eating up what we have, I made this in 15 minutes and still managed to find myself on the 7:40 am train.

I threw the rice in the steamer and got to work - carrot chopping, pine nut toasting, a little assembly and leftover buttermilk dressing to anchor the whole dish together. The salad is crunchy, savory, herbal and sweet all at once and made for a satisfying work lunch.

For 3-4 Servings:
  • 1 ½ cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1 can borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk dressing*
For the dressing, combine 1 cup buttermilk, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup chopped dill, 2 chopped scallions, a tablespoon of chopped tarragon, and a 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil in a blender. Swirl together until emulsified. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use - up to one week.

While the rice is still warm, combine the rice, carrots, currants, pine nuts and beans in a bowl. Pour the dressing over, toss again and serve at room temperature.

Buttermilk Dressing recipe adapted from the Buttermilk Farro Salad recipe at 101 Cookbooks.

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