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.
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.