Why is it that the likelihood of requests for a recipe is usually in direct proportion to the rapidity with which you threw it together!? Last week we had a potluck at work, and I threw together a little “early morning salad.” Don’t judge me!! for having this spectacular constellation of ingredients at hand, just in case, you know, I had to throw together an impressive, last-minute salad! Sometimes the stars just line up. Sometimes, on the other hand, Mercury is in retrograde. Okay, let’s give it a shot.
Here’s the list of ingredients:
3/4 cup sprouted adzuki* beans [started 4 days earlier, in an ordinary Ball jar, on the kitchen counter]
1 ½ cups tomato, seeded [mostly] and chopped
½ English cucumber, sliced thinly
3 scallions, sliced thinly
1 small avocado, cubed
all the kernels sliced from 1 cob of corn
1 tsp. huckleberry balsamic vinegar [sublime, from The Olive & The Grape]
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
*A few notes on these ingredients
The beans: I get my adzukis [Japanese for “small red bean”] in the bulk section at the local Whole Foods. They happen to be my favorite bean. I also sprout chick peas, lentils, sunflower seeds, and all kinds of other goodies. They make salads fantastic, not to mention that they also get an A+ for being nutritious little beaners. You may be interested to know that even people who normally avoid cooked beans can often digest the sprouted form more or less without difficulty. It is worth a try.
The vinegar: I’m almost hesitant to tell you about this vinegar. You can find it online, and at some of the local Northeast Ohio farmers markets. They are often out, so the demand already obviously exceeds the supply. And with good reason — this stuff is so good it’s unbelievable. Try dipping strawberries in it.
The tomatoes: My friend and talented cook Connie taught me how to slide out the seeds with my forefinger to leave the more meaty part of the tomato and avoid the slippery, and occasionally bitter, seeds. You don’t have to do this, but it’s one more little thing that makes you feel like you’re in the know. It makes your salad seem like it was tossed together by a professional instead of a blogger.
The olive oil: It has to be olive oil, and it has to be extra-virgin. We got our current batch from California Olive Ranch, and I have to say that it is really good. Wasn’t I surprised to learn that my husband was putting some on the dog’s kibble every night? Yes, indeed, I was.
Prepare the bean sprouts, tomatoes, scallions, cucumbers and corn, and mix in a medium bowl. Add the olive oil and sea salt, mix well. Cut up the avocado and stir in gently, just before serving. Drizzle the vinegar on top and serve. Serves 4-6.