This is one of those recipes that happened on accident. I really wanted romaine lettuce, but when I found only broccoli and combined it with white beans I was pleasantly surprised by the result. Then I tossed it in a simple, homemade vinaigrette and topped it with spinach and pickled peppers. It’s a perfect alternative to a pasta salad in the summer for those of us who can’t tolerate gluten, plus the beans provide a creamy texture, much like a soft cheese.
Note: I always use dried beans—it’s totally simple and far cheaper than canned, not to mention tastier. You just need to plan ahead a little bit! I make a big batch on Sunday and use them in salads all week.
- 8 oz. broccoli florets, pulled apart into small bite-sized pieces
- 2½ to 3 c. prepared white beans (about 2 cans)
- ½ c. pickled peppers, chopped
- A few cups fresh spinach
- ⅓ c. olive oil
- ¼ c. white vinegar (I've been loving white balsamic lately)
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or chopped finely
- 1 tsp. mustard (dijon or honey mustard work well)
- 1 tsp. agave or honey
- juice of half a lemon
- Dried herbs, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Start by making the dressing. I can't stress enough that you should make this your own. Salad dressing is tough because people have different taste. I make this vinaigrette for myself with lots of acid, and then when Eric uses it, he adds in more mustard and oil. Some dressings call for 3:1 oil to acid (vinegar/lemon) so just work with it until it tastes right to you. Whisk ingredients together and set aside.
- Combine broccoli, beans, and pickled peppers. Toss with some dressing. If you are preparing it ahead of time—before a pot luck, picnic, or lunch at work—I suggest topping it with the fresh spinach, but don't toss. Bring extra dressing with you and toss it with the dressing before you're ready to eat. It will stay fresh and crisp this way!