While the temperature is still quite chilly I am so ready to move on to lighter dishes. I am so over braising, stewing, roasting, and the last thing I wanted after a full weekend of overindulgence was anything heavy for dinner. I made a mental inventory of the contents of our fridge and pantry on my commute home to try to come up with something – anything – that tasted of spring. I thought first of the various beans in the cupboard and decided to use some as the base of a warm salad.
I chose Rancho Gordo’s Flageolets, a delicate little bean with a lovely creamy texture, cooking a cup of them in an abundant amount of water, and adding salt near the end of their cooking time (about an hour and a half total). I then drained them and set them aside to cool slightly while getting to work on the rest of the dish. I whisked together plenty of fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil with salt and pepper in a big bowl to dress the salad, added the beans to the bowl, then a bunch of chopped veggies: scallions, radishes, and a couple of Israeli cucumbers. I added a tablespoon or so of chopped fresh mint and a handful of fresh dill fronds, gave everything a toss, then finished the salad by gently folding in about 4 oz. of cubed feta. I served the bean salad on a bed of baby greens (you can really never have too many veggies), and it was just what I needed – the beans were super tender and held their shape beautifully, and the crunch of the veggies, salty bite of feta and brightness of the herbs and lemon were perfect counterpoints. As warmer weather arrives, this salad is going to be a great one to have in the arsenal for lunch or a light dinner.