I’ve complained about salads before – they wilt too fast, you have to chop too much, they demand a thousand ingredients – but here’s another one that’s won me over. In true salad form, it’s healthy, but also filling, quick to come together, and it doesn’t wilt in your fridge. I love it.
It’s true, this salad needs some slicing – the scallion, the greens – but it’s fast work. And it’s based around your pantry, since the black beans give it all its heft. I like adding chopped arugula or spinach to brighten and lighten it, but they aren’t part of the original recipe. (They also help disguise the absence of basil, which I only add if I already have some in the kitchen.) If you don’t keep walnuts or don’t want to splurge, skip them or substitute in a handful of crushed croutons right before serving to add some crunch.
Black Bean & Walnut Salad
slightly adapted from 12 Best Foods Cookbook
1/3 cup walnuts
1 can black beans, drained
1 scallion, chopped
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 large basil leaves, rolled and cut into thin strips
1 generous handful of arugula, chopped
4 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1. Spread walnuts in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until toasted and fragrant. Chop nuts into small pieces.
2. While nuts are toasting, toss together beans, scallion, garlic, parsley, basil and arugula in a medium bowl. Add chopped walnuts. Set aside.
3. Assemble the dressing: in a separate bowl, use a fork or whisk to mix vinegar, mustard, salt & olive oil. Season with salt & pepper as desired, and pour over the beans mixture. Stir gently until dressing is evenly distributed. Let it sit for 30 minutes before serving to allow flavours to merge.