October 13, 2011

All-Season Bean Salad

As a kid, Julia Child and Cajun chef Justin Wilson were my TV grandparents. They inspired me more than Sesame Street or Fraggle Rock (they also had better catch phrases). So, it doesn’t surprise me that I looked to Julia for inspiration this morning when frantically remembering it was healthy potluck day at work.  We are a gaggle of fitness conscious nut jobs working at the corporate office of a large health and fitness provider. It’s hard to feed this troupe. There is no dairy, meat or gluten allowed which makes the recipe search that much more amusing. I’m always excited to see what everyone brings, and I always remember at the very last minute leading to quite an eventful morning at the Grubarazzi house.  

Recipes are not meant to be followed. They are meant to be elaborated upon and stretched beyond the basic ingredients to discover new flavor combos. Julia Child knew this and in the autumn of her life she wrote a book called The Way toCook. The recipes provide the basic foundation to help facilitate a cooks creative juices. 

A splash of this, a hint of that, a plop of this, and a sprinkle of that. 

Julia’s recipe for All-Season Bean Salad is wildly straightforward. This is my spin on her lovely legume masterpiece. 

All-Season Bean Salad (Inspired by Julia)

4 cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 large heirloom tomatoes diced and seeded (sieve for 30 min to remove the excess juice)
A handful of fresh parsley, chopped
A handful of fresh basil, chopped
3 cups of pea shoots (or any other green you love)
5 mini sweet peppers, sliced
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 large cloves of garlic, grated
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. aged white wine vinegar
Lots of salt and pepper (to taste)

In a large bowl, warm up the beans in the microwave to help them soak up the dressing. Whisk the olive oil, salt, pepper, white wine vinegar and garlic until incorporated. Toss the warm beans with the dressing, tomatoes, herbs, sweet peppers, and shallot.

Let stand for 30 minutes then taste to correct the seasoning. Serve with salad greens or whatever else floats your boat.

The longer it sits, the better it gets.


  1. Beautiful, healthy, delicious...can't beat that combo! And you made me feel old as I started watching Justin Wilson as a young wife and mother :)

    Good luck with your marathon tomorrow!!!

  2. I'd kill for that meal. (:

  3. Wow! All your photos have so much beautiful COLOR in them! :) I followed you over from my blog and I'm a also following you on twitter now. Very exciting stuff! :)

  4. This looks healthy and lovely!! I love Julia Child too... I'm going to google that book you mentioned. That will definitely be a keeper! :) Have a great weekend. ~ Ramona

  5. For a frantic last minute throw together super healthy dish it looks FANTASTIC and not thrown together at all. Looks much healthier than my lunch of kit kat bars dipped in peanut butter today, don't judge me it's been a long day lol.

  6. Looks wonderful. Julia Child and Justin Wilson two amazing cooks. Love them both.

  7. That is amazing! I bet it's quite a challenge to have no dairy, meat or gluten....you came up with an amazing one! I bet this is AMAZING after it's sat for a while. Beautifully done!

  8. Beautiful dish! I love Julia. My mom and I have been toying with the idea of having a themed party where we prepare a few of her dishes and share a few bottle of French wine.

  9. This picture is amazing! This recipe is amazing! Your last sentence is amazing! --the longer it sits, the better it gets!

  10. Love the list of ingredients here! Chickpeas and fresh veggies do make for a great dish-looks delicious. Those two you mentioned are real icons when it comes to cooking. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Mmm...that looks delicious :) And what better role model for a foodie than Julia!? Buzzed

  12. I'm totally with you on your philosophy of cooking as free-form art. I do sometimes follow recipes but more often than not I cook without a net, using my sense of taste and cooking experience to help me figure out the next step. I love that creative aspect of cooking - it's such a joy.

  13. I love this post and your food philosophy. I totally agree - recipes are for the guidance of wise cooks and the blind obedience of fools. Your TV grandparents did a great job raising you!

  14. First time to your blog. Loved your this and that of chickpeas. When I went gluten free it was a challenge for me but you have created a great dish with no dairy,meat and gluten. Great!


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