Happy spring, everyone!
Can you believe how amazing it feels when the sun starts shining again? It’s like an instant energy boost for the whole body. My mood has shifted completely and I can’t stop smiling. I have a sudden urge to wash my windows, buy colorful flowers, wear sneakers and a leather jacket, go downtown to drink coffee and enjoy the sunshine, run every morning, and I’m not getting tired in the evening (resulting in a lot of “The Walking Dead” watching), and yet I’m still waking up no later than 7 am. All in all, total awesomeness is once again entering my life.
In my last salad post, I talked about how much I love beans, especially in salads. I briefly mentioned a version of a salad that I had served to my girlfriends and I have to say that version has been made, tasted, changed, improved, tasted again, and now it has become my absolute favorite salad and first pick for almost any occasion. It just seems to have it all. And you can make it with all sorts of beans, from black to chickpeas, and it still rocks. The same goes for most of the other ingredients. If you haven’t got spinach, then use arugula, no hazelnuts, use walnuts, and no goat’s cheese, use another kind of cheese, and I promise you it will still be great!
Even though the salad has been filling me with nutrient-packed calories throughout the last couple of cold winter months, I still declare this an exceptionally good salad to celebrate the coming of spring with. The spinach, apples, and parsley make it fresh and ‘springy’, but still, the Hokkaido and beans provide you with the filling and comforting flavors and textures you need to feel full and satisfied.
Mixed Super Salad with Butter Beans, Hokkaido & Spinach
Mixed super salad
- 400 g dried butter beans remember to soak overnight
- 100 g spinach 1 package
- 1 medium sized hokkaido pumpkin
- 2 apples
- 150 g firm goats cheese feta goats cheese
- 1 bunch parsley
- 100 g hazelnuts roasted and crushed
- Oil, salt & pepper, pinch of nutmeg – to rub in the pumpkin
- 3/4 cup oil
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar or another fruity vinegar
- 1.5 tsp honey
- Salt and pepper
- Cook beans according to the directions on the package. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 425 °F / 225 °C. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds. Cut the pumpkin in smaller bits (as seen on the pictures). Place on a lined baking stone and drizzle with oil, salt, pepper and nutmeg and roast in the oven until tender and very golden, approximately 25 min. I like when the pumpkin gets a little burned in the edges, since it leads to a caramelization which is so tasty.
- Roast the hazelnuts by baking them in the oven for approximately 15 min at 350 °F/175 °C give them a turn regularly and when they seem golden and the skin starts cracking then remove them. Use your hands or a kitchen cloth to rub of the dried skin and then use the blade of a knife to gently crush them a bit.
- TIP: Make a big portion, I normally make 500 g / a pound and store it in a jar. Then I have nuts for the many next salads or as topping on my porridge, yoghurt, pancakes etc.
- Mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette, use a fork to whisk it thoroughly together – season to taste and remember to adjust the amounts of the various ingredients until it is perfectly balanced.
- Roughly chop the spinach, dice the apples and chop the parsley and mix it together with the beans, hokkaido, hazelnuts and dressing. Use your hands to crumble in the goats cheese and mix the salad thoroughly (again use your hands it is so much easier)
- Voil very simply super salad which is so tasty and keeps well for a couple of days in the fridge, plus it makes a great for a lunch to-go 🙂