The salad should be refrigerated to ensure safety as well as extend the quality. Store in an airtight container and if kept cool, the salad should last as long as five days. As always, make sure to keep the dressing separate.
Grilled meats like chicken or steak are an ideal match for the salad if you’re looking to turn it into a fuller main meal. Vegetarian options that also help bulk it up and combine well with the flavours are classic baked potatoes or oven roasted corn – with a hint of butter or oil of course!
If the beans you’re using need to be soaked, then doing so at room temperature is the best bet. Soaking the beans in the refrigerator can actually cause them to spoil , so the counter is your smartest option.
Soaking beans for eight hours overnight is the most straightforward way to unlock their flavour while maintaining their texture, but there is an alternative if you find yourself in a hurry. Rinse your beans, cover in water and bring to a boil over a high heat before cooking for five minutes. After removing from the heat, allow the beans to soak in the water for an hour before rinsing again, and you can now use them as desired.
Not only is this bean salad delicious, it also has health benefits. Packed with fibre, protein, iron, magnesium and potassium, beans are a true superfood and this salad makes it all the easier (and tastier) to include them in your diet!
Vinegar-based dressings are the perfect pairing for the beans in the salad. Try combining apple cider vinegar with some oil and pepper to deliver a combination of sweet and slightly bitter notes. For a warmer flavour that will quickly wake your tastebuds up, combine lemon juice, minced garlic, oil and Dijon mustard then drizzle over to taste.
When it comes to toppings, anything crunchy is a certain hit. From toasted cashews, to pumpkin seeds, bread croutons or sliced radishes – the texture contrast is a satisfying finishing touch for the dish.
The nutritional value of the salad makes it an ideal candidate for a lunch box that will help you get through the rest of the working day. Simply prepare the salad the night before and keep the dressing separate so it doesn’t become too soggy, then combine when you’re ready to eat, and enjoy!