Think of this fiber-rich salad as the perfect way to incorporate legumes into your diet. Experiment with what types of legumes you like best. Boil them and keep them in your freezer. Add them to your salads, to your meatballs or burgers, puree them to make a basis for dips or spreads, make stews or casseroles.
What would the Greek-Mediterranean cooking be without the plethora of healthy, delicious dishes based on Greek legumes?
Hands on: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15-60 minutes
500 gr mixed legumes
(navy beans, red beans, thick lentils, black eyed peas, buckwheat…)
2 spring onions (cut in thin slices)
2 tablespoons fresh mint (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons parsley (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons fresh coliander (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon celery (finely chopped)
1 tomato (cut in cubes)
For the dressing
1/3 cup Olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar cream sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
freshly grounded pepper
How to do it
Rinse the mixed legumes well.
Bring a pot full of a generous amount of salted water to a boil.
Place the mixed legumes in the pot.
Lower the heat and boil for 60 minutes.
After 30 minutes check if there is enough water in the pot. If necessary add some boiled one.
When ready drain them and let them completely cool.
Meanwhile, wash and finely chop the celery, the spring onions, the mint leaves, the parsley leaves and the coliander leaves.
Cut the tomato in cubes.
Make the dressing: take a small bowl and mix well the olive oil, the lemon juice and the balsamic cream.
Place the legumes in a large deep dish, add the celery, the onions, the herbs and the tomato and the dressing.
Mix well but gently.
Season with coarse salt and freshly grounded pepper.
Decorate with lemon slices.
Dried beans and legumes require soaking in room temperature water, a step that rehydrates them for quicker, more even cooking. But lentils, split peas and black-eyed peas don't need to be soaked. That is why in this recipe we skip the soaking step.
Before soaking, pick through the beans, discarding any discolored or shriveled ones or any foreign matter. Rinse the beans well.
The soaking procedure is very simple: Just add the legumes in a big bowl, cover them with water and leave them in room temperature overnight.
Don't use the soaking water to cook the beans. The water will have absorbed some of the gas-producing indigestible carbohydrate.
If you have a pressure cooker, you only need 10-15 minutes to boil the legumes. Again no soaking needed. Be sure you have rinsed them well.
If not, simmer the legumes slowly until they are tender. This also makes them easier to digest.
Beans are done when they can be easily mashed between two fingers or with a fork.
To incorporate more legumes into your meals and snacks, just freeze them for later use. When boiled, immerse them in cold water until cool, drain well and freeze.
You can use canned legumes. Just be sure to rinse them in order to remove some of the sodium added during processing. But why to use canned, when you can make a big portion from scratch and freeze?
If adding more water is needed (that is to keep the legumes from becoming dry), make sure it’s boiling water. Adding cold water will stop the boiling process.
Lift the taste by using balsamic cream with pomegranate, or fig.