"Everyone should be eating more beans," chef Dan Barber says. They are miracle workers on a farm because they "fix" the nitrogen levels, which replenishes the soil; they do it by grabbing nitrogen from the atmosphere and storing it in their roots. "Peas and peanuts perform this neat trick as well," Barber adds. Here, he mixes three types of seed and nutty toasted peanut dressing to make a colorful salad with multiple kinds of crunch.
Slideshow: More Bean Salad Recipes
1 cup dried navy beans (6 ounces), soaked overnight in water and drained
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds fresh English peas, shelled (2 cups)
2 tablespoons flaxseeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons peanut oil, preferably toasted
How to Make It
In a saucepan, cover the navy beans with 8 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the beans are tender, about 30 minutes. Season the beans with salt and pepper and let cool in the cooking liquid. Drain the beans.
In a saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the peas until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and cool the peas in a bowl of ice water; drain well.
In a small skillet, toast the flaxseeds, sesame and mustard seeds over low heat until golden and starting to pop, about 2 minutes. Scrape the seeds into a large bowl. Add the beans, peas, peanuts, shallot, vinegar, sesame oil and peanut oil and toss to evenly coat. Season with salt and pepper. Let marinate for 10 minutes or overnight before serving.
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