Marinated Beans with Celery and Ricotta Salata*

Recent cooking magazines have had so many great spring salad recipes in them.

Even if the title doesn’t sound like something I can totally eat or the quick glance of ingredients doesn’t seem right because of my lactose intolerance, I always see how I can alter it. So many times olive oil can be substituted for butter, or there is only a splash of cream that can be nixed.

This one sounded so good, and was so quick and easy! And in this one, for instance, it calls for Ricotta Salata. I thought of ways to change that content. I have, in less than a week, made this recipe twice. Once with no cheese, and once with goat (or Chevre) cheese. Both were awesome!

So, this recipe is Marinated Beans with Celery and Ricotta Salata from the May issue for Bon Appetit.

Note: the recipe is for 8 servings, and it’s a hefty 8

Ingredients

  • 4 15-oz. cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, navy beans, and/or black-eyed peas, rinsed
  • 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. coarsely chopped thyme, plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 oz. ricotta salata (salted dry ricotta), crumbled (used Chevre from
    Trader Joe’s)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

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Preparation

  • Toss beans, celery, oil, vinegar, and 1 Tbsp. thyme in a large bowl to combine; season generously with salt.
  • Just before serving, transfer beans to a shallow bowl and top with ricotta salata, pepper, and more thyme.
  • Do Ahead: Bean salad (without celery and ricotta salata) can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Non-Cheese:

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Cheese:

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Definitely keeping this recipe around and will make it several times this summer. Just so delicious. I also nearly doubled the amount of celery to add more veggie content.

 

Leftovers = Soup

I had to buy celery for some reason, which I honestly can’t remember.  So I had a bunch left.  I did not want to have it go to waste.  I also did not need to consume more hummus than celery if I used it for dipping into that, because I’m really good at eating more hummus than the size of the object that I’m dipping into the said chickpea stuff.

So, I googled celery soup. I forgot many of them have dairy, so after that I remembered that using the term ‘vegan’ in searches is great for lactards (love using that term myself since I am the lactose intolerant one).  Came up with several and finally found one to use via another blog.  Pretty basic recipe.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped roughly
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon thyme (optional)
1 head of celery, cleaned & chopped roughly
1 white potato or 1 cup cauliflower, chopped — here I used a bag of mixed frozen veggies because they were out of frozen cauliflower
1 litre of vegetable stock — I used chicken broth because it’s what I had on hand, and I just searched vegan for no dairy
pepper

IMG_3784Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in a non stick pot and add the onion and garlic. Cook until softened.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Puree the soup using a blender. Hand held works fine.  —  used the immersion blender, that also eliminates step 4
  4. Return to the pan, check seasoning and serve.

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I tasted it when it was done and it was fine.  I only made it the other day so the celery didn’t go to waste.  It had to cool for a while before I could put it in containers to freeze.  I finally got around to doing it the next day after it had been in the fridge for 24+ hours.  WOW!  Great celery flavor.  Can’t wait to eat it when fall is truly here.

Wrap-up Dinner

The long weekend is over. Time to get back to ‘normal’ life. I wanted to make a healthy meal that both used some of the leftover turkey and would give me some lunch for the week. I remembered a recipe a friend passed along a few years ago and it was perfect for this time of year. It doesn’t actual call for turkey, but throwing the meat in at the end was a great addition. I used Ellie Krieger‘s Lemony Lentil Soup with Greens (from her So Easy, Luscious Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week cookbook, 2009). It’s basic, nutritious and pretty quick. I made HALF (of all the noted quantities) and have tons.  You could also easily make this a vegetarian dish by using veggie vs. chicken broth.

Ingredients

2 tsp canola oil — used olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz. green lentils
12 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
6 cups chopped kale leaves (about 6 oz)
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

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Directions

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring until softened and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.

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Add the carrots, celery, garlic and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are softened, about 5 minutes.

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Add 12 cups of the broth, the lentils, basil, thyme, and salt and bring to a boil.

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Reduce the heat to low, add the kale, and cook until the lentils are tender, 30-35 min, adding more broth as necessary.

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Stir in the lemon juice and zest, and serve. At this point I also threw in leftover turkey and let it heat through.

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Nice and hearty! I plan to eat this for the next couple days at lunch (and likely dinner based on how much I have, even with half the recipe).

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