Oh my, the sun is shining again!! It is absolutely amazing how you can feel this change throughout all of your body. From one day to another my level of energy has shifted completely. I am smiling all the time, I have crazy urges to wash my windows, buy colourful flowers, wear sneakers and leather jacket, go down town to drink coffee and enjoy the sunshine, run every morning and I am not getting tired in the evening (resulting in watching a lot of ‘dead walking’) and still I wake up no later than 7 am… all in all totally awesomeness is once again entering my life.
In my last salad post I was already all about the beans. How much I love beans and especially when in salads. I briefly mentioned a version of a salad that I had served for my girlfriends, and I gotta say that version has been made, tasted, changed, improved, tasted again and now it has become my absolute favourite salad and first pick for almost any occasion.
It just seems to have it all. And you can make it with all sorts of beans, from black to chickpeas, and it still rocks. The same goes for most of the other ingredients, if you haven’t got spinach then use arugula, no hazelnuts use walnuts and no goats cheese use another kind of cheese, and I promise you it will still be great!
Even though the salad has been filling me with nutrient packed calories throughout the last couple of cold winter months, I still declare this an exceptionally good salad to celebrate the coming of spring with. The spinach, apples and parsley makes it fresh and ‘springy’, but still the hokkaido and beans provide you with the filling and comforting flavours and textures you need in order to feel full and satisfied.
In the spirit of spring I have made some small improvements on the blog. The recipes (at least all the new once) are now in a print friendly version. Just tab the print button and you get a clean recipe. And if you haven’t already noticed; the blog has now gotten a little heart favicon logo in front of the web address, so cute and very much in the honor of the food we all share and love!
Mixed super salad
14 oz dried butter beans (400 g) – remember to soak overnight
1 package spinach (100 g)
1 medium sized hokkaido pumpkin
5 oz firm goats cheese/ feta goats cheese (150 g)
1 bunch of parsley
3/4 cup roasted and crushed hazelnuts (100 g)
Oil, salt & pepper, pinch of nutmeg – to rub in the pumpkin
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar – or another fruity vinegar
1-2 tsp honey
Salt and pepper
Cook beans according to the directions on the package. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 425 °F / 225 °C. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds. Cut the pumpkin in smaller bits (as seen on the pictures). Place on a lined baking stone and drizzle with oil, salt, pepper and nutmeg and roast in the oven until tender and very golden, approximately 25 min. I like when the pumpkin gets a little burned in the edges, since it leads to a caramelization which is so tasty.
Roast the hazelnuts by baking them in the oven for approximately 15 min at 350 °F/175 °C give them a turn regularly and when they seem golden and the skin starts cracking then remove them. Use your hands or a kitchen cloth to rub of the dried skin and then use the blade of a knife to gently crush them a bit.
TIP: Make a big portion, I normally make 500 g / a pound and store it in a jar. Then I have nuts for the many next salads or as topping on my porridge, yoghurt, pancakes etc.
Mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette, use a fork to whisk it thoroughly together – season to taste and remember to adjust the amounts of the various ingredients until it is perfectly balanced.
Roughly chop the spinach, dice the apples and chop the parsley and mix it together with the beans, hokkaido, hazelnuts and dressing. Use your hands to crumble in the goats cheese and mix the salad thoroughly (again use your hands it is so much easier)
Voil very simply super salad which is so tasty and keeps well for a couple of days in the fridge, plus it makes a great for a lunch to-go :)
Spring hugs and warming thoughts