Monday, June 27, 2011

White Bean Salad and a Party Menu

Last week I hosted a farewell party for two of my coworkers. I asked people to bring a dish to share, but I knew I better have some food on hand.

I decided on a menu that would be quick and easy, that I could either purchase or make in advance, and that wouldn't be far off my "green" list, but that hopefully wouldn't look too weird either.

The menu:
  • Shrimp -- purchased frozen and served with a bowl of store-bought cocktail sauce.
  • Hummus with crudite and pita chips. The hummus and chips were store-bought, and I just chopped up carrots, celery, and a green pepper into convenient sticks.
  • White bean salad -- recipe to follow.
  • Watermelon -- cubed up by me.
  • Cream puffs -- store-bought from the freezer section.
Others brought meatballs, deviled eggs, and a fruit tray. I always worry, but there was plenty of food, and everyone enjoyed themselves.

White Bean Salad
This recipe is very flexible in size. For the party size, I used 3 cans of beans.

1 can navy beans (or any other white bean of your choice), drained and rinsed.
1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 tablespoons lemon juice (or the juice from one large, juicy lemon)
2 tsp dried oregano (parsley would also work here)
2 tsp salt
sprinkle of pepper

Put the beans, tomatoes and cucumbers in a bowl. In a separate bowl whisk the olive oil and lemon juice until they emulsify and form and dressing. Add the salt, pepper, and oregano to the dressing. Whisk again vigorously.
Pour the dressing over the bean salad, stir, and refrigerate in a covered bowl for at least 2 hours so the flavors can get happy.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

This is also lovely served over a bed of greens.

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