White Bean Salad with Peas, Leeks & WalnutsPosted: April 13, 2009
I created this salad for Easter lunch because the other options for protein were filet mignon and a ham, oh and some shrimp. I thought a white bean salad would be really pretty, especially with some light green leeks, peas, lemon and orange zest and walnuts as colorful (and delicious) components. This came out better than I expected and would be a great addition to a picnic or to make ahead. Add some crusty bread and it really is a meal. I was pleasantly surprised that my whole family dug into those beans and went back for seconds! Take that filet mignon.
White Bean Salad with Peas, Leeks & Walnuts
1/3 cup olive oil
Zest of an orange
Zest of a lemon
Juice of two lemons
3 cups cooked white beans (preferably not from a can, I used dried Cannellini)
2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
1 cup frozen peas
Bit more olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ to 1 cup walnuts, toasted (just pop a lined baking sheet into the oven at about 350 for 3-5 minutes)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
If you have the time, let the orange and lemon zest sit in the olive oil overnight in order to infuse the oil. If you don’t, put the zest in the olive oil and microwave it for about 30 seconds and let it sit while you prep everything else.
Sautee the garlic in a bit of olive oil and add the leeks. Cook over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, until the leeks break down and get a tiny bit caramelized. Rinse the frozen peas with some hot water and add to the leeks. Cook until peas are tender (feel free to add some white wine or lemon juice here if you need some cooking liquid – or just cover your sautee pan).
Whisk together the lemon juice, dijon mustard and infused olive oil.
Put beans in a nice bowl. Top with leeks and peas and toss with toasted walnuts. Add the dressing and toss. Add salt and pepper, and more acid (lemon juice or some nice vinegar) if you like. Let sit for about 10 minutes to let the flavors meld. Can be served warm or cold.