Long weekends mean barbecues, and this one was no different. We went over to our friends’ place with this dish in hand. It’s a really good choice to bring to a gathering where you don’t already know all the people who will be there, because it’s accomodating to just about everyone. For instance, we knew there would be at least one vegan in attendance, so I wanted to work with that – while it wasn’t strictly a meeting of the vegan club, I thought it would be a bit rude to bring something I knew one of our hosts couldn’t eat. Plus it’s gluten-free – beans, veggies, herbs, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil! That’s why it’s really handy to bring to a party: it’s delicious, easy, and good for everyone!
The recipe comes from Home is Where the Cookies Are, which, side note, if that’s the case, then I have homes all over town. And I’m about to head down to the grocery store in a few minutes and I’ll probably make a home at Fornax Bakery while I’m there. She was reverse-engineering a recipe from an Argentinian restaurant; I’ve made a couple changes as well, so I don’t know just how Argentinian the end result is. One thing I can argue in favour of in terms of my changes is that I swapped out the cilantro for parsley. In all honesty, this was because I don’t like cilantro, but parsley is a main component of chimichurri sauce, which is a mainstay of Argentinian cooking – so maybe I’m onto something.
I also swapped out the roasted red peppers for regular ones. I wasn’t inclined to roast my own – it’s summer, after all – so I was trying to buy the jarred kind. I couldn’t find any at the store, other than the ones they had in the salad bar. I would’ve just gone there, but there were a couple of fruit flies zizzing around the place and I just… no. So a regular pepper it was. It didn’t have that roasted flavour, but on the other hand it does bring a nice crunch that the softer roasted ones would not. Oh, and I used balsamic vinegar instead of sherry – just what I had on hand.
Argentinian White Bean Salad
2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 a red bell pepper, diced small
1/2 a medium or 1/4 a large red onion – I suppose if you can find a small one, you could use the whole thing, but all the red onions at my grocery store were monsters
3 ribs celery, diced small
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Mix the beans, red pepper, onion, and celery together.
Put all the rest of the ingredients into a container with a lid and shake well.
Toss the dressing through the bean mixture.
Since it’s balsamic vinegar rather than sherry vinegar, you might want to reduce amounts a bit – I thought it was fine, but your mileage may vary.