I may have no fancy for leafy green salads at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I’m not getting those veggies in! I came up with this salad rather randomly when I needed an easy packed lunch to take to an event. I know that we might not yet be in proper salad weather yet, however this salad is much heartier than your usual leafy green version and because of that, feels substantial enough to give you some comfort on an early spring day.
This salad makes great use of one of my favourite foods, tahini. I’m a little bit obsessed with it to be honest, I go through jars of the stuff! My favourite brand by far is Cypressa, available in Waitrose, as I love the drippy oily texture. Here I combine it with lemon juice to make a refreshing dressing. The sesame seeds used to make tahini are fabulously healthy foods with decent amounts of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron. The red kidney beans are high in folate as well as iron, so when all these ingredients are combined together with the lemon juice and peppers, there’s an added hit of vitamin C to support absorption of the minerals. Tahini is also a source of healthy fat, further supporting the absorption of fat soluble vitamins.
- 1 red onion
- 2 peppers (I used a mix of red, orange and yellow sweet bite peppers)
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 tin or carton of cooked red kidney beans
- 2 tbsp tahini
- Juice from one lemon
- Optional - parsley and hemp seeds
- Chop the onion and peppers into chunks and add to a large bowl. De seed the cucumber (if you plan to store the salad for a while) and chop int chunks. Drain and rise the beans and add to the bowl. Make the dressing by combining the tahini and lemon juice. Add water 1 tbsp at a time until you get a single cream like consistency. Pour into the bowl and mix well until the beans and veggies are covered in the dressing. Serve with hemp seeds and fresh parsley.
This keeps really well in the fridge for a couple of days so is useful for making up on a Sunday ready for lunches during the week.
I really like this salad with red kidney beans but any bean would work equally as well, I can imagine a version with chickpeas and a little harissa paste mixed with the tahini would be amazing – note to self to try that soon!
I also love the colour of this salad. It tastes fresh and looks fresh!
Are you a fan of beans? I think that they have come in for a bit of criticism, maybe due to the Paleo foods moment that avoids them, however as long as they don’t cause you any digestive distress and are prepared properly I think they are great. What’s your favourite bean?