Weekday Vegetarian: Bean Salad with Walnuts and Cilantro

weekday vegetarian bean salad photo

Photo: Kelly Rossiter

This little vegan salad, while not being the most beautiful salad ever, is surprisingly satisfying to eat. The combination of textures is quite nice, with the creaminess of the beans, the crunch of the walnuts and the crispness of cilantro and romaine. It was so good, I ate the leftovers for breakfast.This is a great recipe if you are heading out to a pot luck or you are having a buffet. You make it ahead of time and then serve it at room temperature, always a plus if you are entertaining. This recipe makes a huge amount and serves 10, but I cut down the proportions and just made it for the two of us. I think the next time I make this I might add a bit of pickled hot cherry peppers to give it a bit of heat. If you are one of those people who really hate cilantro, just substitute parsley. I know there are lots of people who don't like beans either, so try it with chickpeas.

This recipe is from Bon Appetit, July 2003.

Kidney Bean Salad with Walnuts and Cilantro

2 teaspoons cumin seeds
7 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
5 15- to 16-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 medium-size red onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus additional for garnish
Romaine lettuce leaves
Additional chopped walnuts

1. Toast cumin in skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Whisk vinegar and oil in bowl to combine.

2. Combine kidney beans, onion, 1 1/2 cups walnuts, and 1/2 cup chopped cilantro in large bowl. Add vinegar and oil mixture. Crumble cumin seeds between fingers and add to bean mixture. Toss gently to blend; season with salt and pepper. Let salad stand at room temperature for 2 hours. (Can be made 6 hours ahead; refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

3. Line and fill large bowl with lettuce. Spoon salad into bowl. Garnish salad with additional cilantro and walnuts and serve.

More Bean Recipes
Kidney Bean Soup with Avocado and Cilantro
Bean and Barley Salad
Creole Red Bean and Rice Salad

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