With all the challenges in life: unemployment, same-sex marriage (and lack of same in our household), medical reform, medical challenges, etc, Peter and I have two constants: (1) the meticulous planning, execution, and consumption of our daily meals; (2) cocktails at 5 pm while we watch an episode of Jeopardy or Millionaire. If this seems pedestrian or prosaic, all I can say is it works for us!
Lunch is usually a sandwich, ranging from banh mi, to grilled ham and cheese, to chicken or tuna or egg salad, and so forth. Lunch also includes a daily mix of cutup fruit with plain yogurt as a dressing. Dinner will include a protein, a starch, and a vegetable (often a salad these days with remarkably resilient lettuce from our own garden). The regularity of substantial and varied meals, enjoyed in the preparation nearly as much (but not as much) as in the eating.
Having bought some brats on sale at Safeway a few days ago, I got to thinking about a salad with white beans (my favorites of which are called Navy beans and come in cans at Safeway). In part I like them because they are small.
I sat down at this computer yesterday and composed the following recipe. Try it – it’s superb!
Sorry there’s no photo – the one I took at the dinner table didn’t come out well.
White bean and sausage salad
2 bratwurst, cooked and cut into ½” pieces
1 15 oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 small shallot, minced
1 medium tomato, chopped
¼ cup canned black olives, halved
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped parsley
½ tsp fresh rosemary, minced
½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Start the bratwurst. I use a Rachel Ray technique for this. A small amount of water in a sauté pan; add the brats and cook, turning occasionally until the water has evaporated; add olive oil or butter and continue sautéing until the sausages are browned and cooked through.
While the brats cook (or do ahead of time), put the beans, shallot, tomato, olives, garlic, salt and pepper, parsley, rosemary, and thyme in a large bowl and toss to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and mustard. Add to the large bowl and toss to combine. Set aside.
We heated wide bowls in our excellent convection toaster oven, served up the bean mix and added the hot sausages (after cutting into ½” pieces). The result is basically a room temp to warm salad, very pleasing on a summer evening.
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