Salad is a newer thing to me, something I've only really gotten to know as an adult.
Don't get me wrong. As a kid, I had vegetables every single night. It was just that when my parents had salad, my brother and I would stubbornly have bowls of chopped veggies. Yes, the same vegetables they had in their salads. Trust me, they tasted really different that way.
And when I would have a bowl of salad, it would always be dressing free. Healthy? Yes. Tasty? Not really.
I really started having salads again when I began going over for dinner for a home-cooked meal each week with two of my dearest friends, both of whom grew up having salad with dinner every night.
We'd have our entree, always fantastic. Then, just when I felt like I had reached my limit, the salad would come out.
Usually it was a BFS, a big fat salad. It would be loaded with greens, veggies and a sprinkling of some kind of cheese. Imagine a salad filled with avocado, hearts of palm, fresh tomatoes and sliced peppers. It was always lightly dressed, with a bit of lemon in the dressing, and always delicious.
Other times, the salad was much more simple. Arugula with a simple dressing and a bit of parmesan. Raw kale with radishes, lightly dressed.
The dinner tradition continues, but I've taken to making my own salads occasionally too. I figure having salad more than once a week might actually be a good thing.
While this isn't the most veggie-heavy salad I've ever had, it's quick and tasty. It came together in under five minutes, and it kept me well fed for lunch at work for most of a week.
Cannellini Bean and Red Cabbage Salad with a Pesto Dressing
recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times
2 19-ounce cans of cannellini beans, well rinsed
4 cups shredded red cabbage
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
3 tablespoons basil pesto
A generous sprinkling of salt and pepper
Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir well. Let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes to allow flavors to come together. Serve at room temperature