Even when the temperatures skyrocket to nearly forty degrees this summer, I will still make soup for dinner. Without a doubt, it’s my favourite food, and as I type these words I have a pot of white bean and ham potage simmering on the stove to make use of the weekend leftovers – ham! carrots! - lingering in the fridge.
Now that the sun is shining, and the squirrels are tearing through my backyard each morning, my thoughts are turning to growing a garden, canning some food, and making salads; especially for weekday lunches.
So I’m trying something new. I’ve stuffed glass mason jars with the ingredients of our favourite salad and tucked them in the fridge for grab-and-go lunches for Rob and I this week. When paired with a roast chicken sandwich it’s the perfect midday meal for him, while I’m happy to eat mine as is, or beside a slice of toast smeared with fresh avocado that’s been jazzed up with a little lime juice and sea salt.
The dressing is kept a reasonable distance from the lettuce ensuring it doesn’t go soggy, and while I don’t mind eating my greens straight from the jar you could shake it up and dump everything onto a plate, if you prefer.
Black Bean Salad with Jalapeño Lime Dressing
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Don't panic about using the japaleño in the dressing. With the seeds removed, the pepper infuses the liquid with flavour, but adds no spicy kick.
For the dressing:
- 1 lime, juiced (about 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons liquid)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 small jalapeño, seeded, deveined and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
For the salad:
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 small head romaine lettuce, trimmed and chopped
- 1/2 cup almonds (about 40)
- 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta
Start by making the dressing. Combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil in a blender or food processor and purée. Add the olive oil and pulse until everything comes together. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt or honey if necessary. Divide the dressing evenly between four 500ml mason jars.
Divide the beans evenly between the jars, layering them over the dressing. Top each with 1/4 of the romaine, almonds, cucumber and crumbled feta, leaving an inch or two of space at the top of each jar. Seal tightly and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To eat, shake the jars to combine the ingredients and devour straight from the jar, or invert the ingredients onto a plate for a more civilized presentation.