The first time you try fresh dried beans, you’ll be amazed at the taste. Dried beans become tougher and less flavorful as they age: most dried beans are so old they’ve lost all flavor. Fresh dried beans have a rich taste that makes this easy summer salad delicious—I take this dish to parties and people always ask what I did to make it so delicious. The answer: use fresh local dried beans!
You want a higher acid ratio in the dressing for this salad than you would for a green salad, because the starchy beans absorb more vinegar. You can use whatever beans, vegetables, or fresh herbs are available as substitutes for those listed here—they will all work and be great.
- 1 c black coco beans soaked, instructions below
- 3 c water fresh filtered, for cooking
- 1 T mustard stoneground
- 2 T lime juice can substitute lemon
- 1T apple cider vinegar
- 1 t salt
- 1/4 c CCF sunflower oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 3 red radishes small dice
- 3 scallions minced
- 1/4 c parsley or cilantro; minced
Drain soaked beans and rinse well with water. Drain again. Combine beans and fresh filtered water in a put and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and cook until the beans are tender but still hold their shape (a little less time than you would if you were cooking beans for soup). Remember that fresh dried beans will be done in less time, so start checking them after 30 minutes until they’re done.
While beans are cooking, whisk together the mustard, lime juice, cider vinegar, and salt, then slowly add the olive oil while whisking continuously. Drain the cooked beans well, remove to a bowl, and pour the marinade over while the beans are still warm; they’ll absorb more of the flavor as they cool. When beans have cooled to room temperature, add the vegetables and herbs and toss well.
This salad can be eaten right away but is best if you give it a few hours for the flavors to meld. Enjoy!
Notes about beans
Soaking beans Do soak your beans if you remember and have the time. Soaking serves two purposes. First, rehydrating the beans by soaking evens out the cooking time so that all your beans will be done at the same time. Second, soaking improves the nutrition of your beans by neutralizing mineral-absorption-blocking phytic acid in beans, and releasing gas-causing enzymes and trisaccharides into the soaking water. Cover the beans with a few inches of water and soak for at least 8 hours or overnight, then rinse and put into fresh water for cooking.
Salting beans There’s debate over when or if to add salt to beans, since some beans will seize if you add the salt too early in the cooking. I like to salt my beans about 10 minutes before they’re done—that way they’re not too bland but unlikely to seize. Beans can generally take a lot of salt without becoming too salty.
Cooking times Fresh dried beans will have a shorter cooking time, so watch them carefully; additionally, smaller beans like our black cocoa beans will cook faster, so check them regularly after about 30 minutes to see if they’re done. When cooking beans for salad, you want them tender but to still hold their shape—if overcooked, they’ll fall apart and turn your salad to mush!
photos: CCF staff