The importance of eating healthy is undisputed. Nutritionists would always tell you to “eat the colors of the rainbow” every single day.
Of course I know it’s good, but I must admit it is much easier said than done.
For instance, making a salad with every meal sounds like something I need to do, however in my busy every day life, I barely get to.
One of the things I find painful in the preparation of salads particularly is the cutting of lettuces.. The pre-washed and pre-cut kinds did exist at some point and would work, but they’d amount to a big expense that buying an iceberg head is literally a fraction of.
The quickest salad then relies on one concept: no lettuce.
Please don’t get me wrong, I love lettuce and know it’s really good as it contains two ingredients that promote health: fibers and water.
But for a midweek meal I normally go to my variation of Nigella Lawson’s red salad.
It’s originally a chef-y recipe as you see, however I have been making it at least 7 years now and along the way I started making my own variations of it. The most successful being the one I have stabilized as my staple recipe for this salad.
The ingredients are really simple and few, but it’s the technique that will give the maximum flavor. That is another one of those recipes that clearly show that a few really good ingredients make the best of foods
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1 small red onion
- 1 can of kidney beans
- pinch of salt
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- freshly ground black pepper
- The first thing you want to do is to cut your onions in fine slices and marinade them in the balsamic vinegar.
- The normal ratio of a vinaigrette of any kind is 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. My personal taste is to use 2 parts vinegar and 2 parts oil. So for the very first step, use all the required vinegar that will make your vinaigrette onto the onions (around 1-2 tbsps)
- Cut the tomatoes and add them to the onions that are marinading.
- Now start the rest of the vinaigrette: add 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to 1 tsp honey, a pinch of salt and freshly ground black peppers and mix them very well. You could use powdered black pepper, but do try to invest in a nice pepper grinder… you won’t regret it!
- finally, wash the kidney beans really well and add them to the tomatoes and onions
- now dress it up with the vinaigrette and enjoy.
- sometimes I add some sweet corn to the salad. I know this breaks the “red” rule, but who cares when it tastes so good 🙂
- the longer the onions stay into the vinegar, the sweeter and milder they taste.
The vinegar cuts into the pungent taste of the onions
- the honey is a very important addition here, as it perfectly contrasts the acidity of the vinegar and tomatoes, and complements the sweetness of the onions and the buttery texture of the kidney beans all at the same time.. a little bit goes that long of a way.
Here’s a picture of this flavor and texture fiesta.. I am sure once you make it, it will become a staple in your household too: