Friday, April 10, 2015

Foodie Fridays: Two Bean Pesto Salad

Almost too pretty to eat!

I found a recipe for Two Bean and Pesto Salad on the Mystery Lover's Kitchen website, a site where various cozy mystery authors blog about their favorite recipes as well as their latest mystery novels.  There is a subgenre of cozies that features protagonists who are involved with food in some way, and these books usually include recipes, so some but not all of the recipes on the site are inspired by the writers' works.  In fact, the post from which this recipe came was an announcement of a giveaway for two cookbooks, both filled with recipes inspired by these cozy mysteries.

Naturally I entered the contest, but I was also intrigued by the recipe, as I have been craving summery salads that require little to no cooking lately.  The only cooking needed here is the steaming of the green beans, and if you use prepackaged microwaveable beans like I do, this step is simplicity itself.  I did modify the recipe somewhat based on what I had available.  I also perked up the flavor with some lemon juice, since my version had a greater proportion of white beans to green beans than the original, making the salad a little too bland without some added acidity.  This side dish is even hearty enough to serve as a light main course, and is a great addition to my repertoire of easy summer vegetable recipes.  With recipes like this one, I might even have time to catch up on my reading this summer!

Two Bean Pesto Salad

8 oz. slender green beans (haricots verts)
1 can (14-16 oz.) small white (navy) beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 medium red onion, diced
1/2 large yellow bell pepper, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
4 oz. (about 1/2 carton) refrigerated prepared pesto
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt

Steam the green beans until crisp-tender.  Cool and slice into thirds lengthwise.  Combine with the remaining ingredients.  Serve at room temperature or chilled, plain or on a bed of lettuce.  Serves 6.

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