Thursday, 17 January 2008

Balsamic Mushroom and Bean Salad

While we're eating a lot of ham, it's good to vary the rest of the menu. Last night we had hot ham, with baked potatoes, green salad and a balsamic mushroom and bean salad. I'm just finishing the salad over lunch, with added cucumber, celery and a small tin of tuna.

Recipe: Balsamic Mushroom and Bean Salad
250g small button mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1 400g tin large white beans
1/2 loose-packed cup chopped continental parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic reduction

Drain beans well, and combine with chopped parsley in a heat-resistant bowl. Clean the mushrooms and cut in halves. Heat the oil in a small saucepan, add the crushed garlic, and fry gently until mushrooms are lightly browned. Add the balsamic reduction, stir quickly and tip onto the beans. Stir well, and leave to cool before serving.

The Italian tinned beans I used are called butter beans, but I've also seen "butter beans" refer to the small beans that you make baked beans with. It's not those. Definitely use big ones. I'll add a photo when I get home (I'm posting at lunchtime).

I have a syrupy balsamic reduction that my friend Alex made for me. If you don't have any, just add 2-3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sugar, and continue cooking the mushroom mix until it's reduced down.

Cooking tonight: Haven't decided. Risotto? Pizza? Okonomiyaki?

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