Friday, September 16, 2011

White Bean and Vegetable Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette

I've now got weeks of life with a newborn under my belt. I'm proud to say that cooking is getting quite a bit easier. I find that recipes with multiple short steps seem to work the best right now. Each morning, I think about what I'm going to make for dinner, then decide how every nap I can do a bit more. With this recipe, I had to cook the dried beans, harvest rosemary, make the dressing, chop the veggies, and let it sit and marinade. Of course this can all be done in a marathon of 10 steps, but for now, the 2-3 minute steps spread hours apart are working perfectly. 

One reason cooking itself is getting better is Violet is now happy to sit in her bouncer and watch me cook! Of course, her attention span is about 10 minutes, but I get to practice my cooking show skills on her. A newborn is definitely the toughest critic, I have to say. One awkward minute of silence and she starts screaming! Now I just need to figure out a way to get the photography portion of cooking down... It's still a struggle to time dinner perfectly that I can photograph it and eat it. I've had several great dinners lately that went unphotographed, but I do intend to make them again, and again, and again, if necessary, until it's photographed! 

Note: You can use canned white beans, but I find them mushier than cooked, dried beans.

White Bean and Vegetable Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette

1 c. dried navy beans, cooked, drained and chilled
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, quartered, seeded and sliced
1/4 c. diced red onion
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese

1 roasted red pepper, jarred or fresh
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, about 1 tbsp. 
2 tbsp. sweetener (honey, maple syrup, agave)
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. EVOO
Salt and pepper

Place all vinaigrette ingredients in a blender, puree until smooth.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Add all salad ingredients to a bowl, pour on vinaigrette, mix well.
Chill for 30 minutes and serve.


Joanne said...

That cute face! I wouldn't be able to cook...I'd be too distracted by the adorable-ness.

However...I'd also be very happy to have such a nutritious meal awaiting me! This sounds so good!

Tasha said...

Glad you are getting your kitchen groove back. This salad sounds wonderful. I'm really loving white beans lately, and these are perfect ingredients to compliment them.

Cara said...

I like the way you think! Great job gettin' it done, mama!

spécialiste de l'éphémère said...

Marvelous! The salad, AND the baby ;-)
I love that kind of salad.

Layne said...

This reminds me of what I went through with my little girl to try to cook dinner several months ago! :-) She was great about sitting in her bouncer on the counter and we would play games or I'd "teach" her how to cook and tell her all about what I was doing. Just as long as I paid attention and kept talking she was good for maybe 20-30 minutes at a time! Now her naps are longer so I can get most of dinner done during while she's sleeping.

Our biggest problem was eating! She didn't like sitting/playing alone while we ate and got fussy half way through the meal. So we would have to take turns holding her so the other could eat. Meal times were no longer the relaxing venture they used to be! But luckily she's (mostly) grown out of that!