Tuesday, April 26, 2011

About that Red Salad

Attention, all teachers and students who are feeling fried by the looming end-of-semester work load!  You need to make this:

Salad in Blue Bowl

This is Nigella’s Red Salad, and it’s terrific.  It’s what to make when you are feeling drained and delicate and ready to quit life or go drown your sorrows in a bottomless margarita.  It’s one of those recipes that takes a pinch of effort and rewards you handsomely with a healthy, delicious, and filling meal or two, depending on how hungry you are.  At its most basic, it contains five ingredients: red kidney beans, red onion, tiny tomatoes, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.  I would argue that if you can manage it, add two more ingredients to the list: salt and some fresh cilantro.

The charm of this recipe is all in the onions: they get steeped in the red wine vinegar for about 15 minutes, which takes that raw-onion sharpness out of them and replaces it with something more mellow.  Other than the onion trick, this salad is a straightforward chop-and-mix number.  If you do a little judicious shopping and get yourself some tortilla chips, some cheese, and maybe a piece of fruit for dessert, you can bang together a tidy little lunch or supper to keep you going during these busy spring days.

Happy eating, friends!

Red Salad Close-up

Nigella’s Red Salad

Adapted slightly from Nigella Lawson

Serves 2-3 (2 more heartily, 3 if appetites are daintier)

1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

2 tsp. red wine vinegar

1 15-oz. can red kidney beans, drained and well-rinsed

8 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tbsp. best-quality extra-virgin olive oil

A few pinches of salt, to taste

A handful to fresh cilantro leaves, to taste

1)  Mix the chopped onions with the red wine vinegar in a small, nonreactive bowl, such as a ceramic bowl.  Let them steep for about 15 minutes.

2)  Meanwhile, prep the kidney beans and tomatoes as directed above.  Add them to a mixing bowl.  When the onions are done steeping, add them to the mixing bowl and toss everything together gently.  Drizzle the olive oil on, add some salt, then mix again.  Scatter the cilantro on top and serve.


Ten Words said...

Thank you for this recipe. I tried it the other night - adding a little crumbled feta cheese into the mix - and it was a big hit. It tasted great for lunch the next day, too. The vinegar-soaked red onions are genious. Finally, I can enjoy (nearly) raw onions!

Rosiecat24 said...

I'm so glad you liked the salad, Ten Words! I agree: the onions are brilliant. I like your addition of feta--I'll have to try that next time!