I miss simple, vegetable-packed meals when I’m away. While home-cooked beans taste best, tinned ones are handy for a speedy meal. Just add a killer dressing (like this variation on the Green Goddess) and crisp vegetables for a satisfying lunch or dinner.
If you’re not a fan of beans, try stirring the pesto through spiralized zucchini “noodles” or steamed vegetables.
Bean salad with parsley “pesto”
1 bunch parsley leaves (about 1 cup of continental or curly parsley), roughly chopped
Zest and juice of 1 organic* lemon
½ cup raw pistachios, hulled
1 – 2 cloves garlic, crushed
Pinch sea salt
1 ripe avocado, mashed (if doing this ahead of time add some of the lemon juice to stop it oxidising)
Gently wash the parsley and pat dry, then roughly chop. Use a citrus zester to collect the lemon skin (or thinly peel, avoiding the white pith). Roughly chop the parsley leaves.
Pulse parsley, lemon zest, garlic and pistachios in a small food processor, just once or twice. Add half of the lemon juice, then whiz again and taste. Add salt and more lemon juice as needed. Remove mixture from the processor and stir through the mashed avocado until smoothish. I don’t like the texture of machine blended avocado but if you do, then skip the final hand mixing stage.
1 cup of cooked cannellini beans
1+ cups finely chopped vegetables as desired eg:
- cherry tomatoes
- spring onions
- broccoli (raw or blanched)
If using canned beans, rinse them well in warm water and shake out the excess moisture. Chop the vegetables and combine with the beans. Stir through a dollop or two of the parley pesto. Eat immediately
- Use other beans such as borlotti or three bean mix.
- Add more fresh herbs like basil or mint.
- Substitute pistachios for your favourite nuts or seeds.
- Add capers to the pesto after blending.
* It’s a good idea to use spray-free or organic lemons when eating the skin. If conventionally grown fruit are your only option, avoid waxed lemons and wash the skin well before zesting.