Add this recipe, the Mediterranean tomato and bean salad, to your list of simple, impressive, protein-filled, vegan-friendly salads that will wow your guests. And, as a bonus, you can even make it ahead and refrigerate it for up to three days. Mind you, our leftovers won’t last for three days. Perhaps if you triple the recipe?
The sidebar on the recipe tells you how to make pesto in 10 minutes for the dressing. The rest of the recipe is so simple that I recommend taking the 10 minutes to make homemade pesto as opposed to buying it. Using a food processor, I whirled one cup of basil leaves with ¼ cup toasted pine nuts, 1 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice, coarsely chopped garlic cloves and some salt and pepper. While the motor was running, I slowly added ½ cup of olive oil until the pesto was emulsified. I am extremely talented with a food processor: I’ve never set off the smoke alarm while using it. I wish I could say the same for my oven. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to go more than two months without setting off the smoke detector. Perhaps once barbecue season gets into full swing?
I did not know that I did not know how to cook green beans properly—so that they are crisp but cooked and still charmingly green. But apparently, it’s a simple five minute five-step process: hot, drain, cold, drain, dry. Put the beans in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes, drain them, plunge them into a bowl of ice water and drain them again. Then dry them with a kitchen towel and you’re ready to accessorize with the rest of the colourful ingredients: tomatoes, fennel, artichoke hearts and beans. Once you add the pesto, the salad is not only visually pleasing but also a treat for your nasal passages. This red, white and green salad would go perfectly with my (failed) suggestion of having a Christmas-themed potluck party at my friend’s, where all the food we prepare is red, white and green. I can’t believe that none of them went for the idea. Not a single one.
The whole family loved the Mediterranean tomato and bean salad. Apparently the flavour of this salad improves as it sits but, like I said earlier, what little leftovers we have won’t be around for long.