Sunday Dinners comes to us from our own chef/photojournalist/farmer/father figure Tom Hirschfeld, featuring his stunning photography and Indiana farmhouse family meals.
Today: Turn your three bean salad on its head, just in time for your next picnic.
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Now that picnic season is upon us, I get nostalgic over classic summertime fare. There is nothing quite like a family reunion over fried chicken and a potluck dinner, tables threatening to buckle under the weight of all the CorningWare and Pyrex.
Ever since I started sprouting foods last fall, I have wanted to use sprouted beans to make a three bean salad. I don't know why I haven't done this sooner, but summer is here, so I am going for it.
I haven't really strayed too much from a classic three-bean in that I still use apple cider vinegar and bacon drippings in my dressing, laced with a touch of sugar to smooth the vinegar's edge. I wanted the sprouted beans to stand out, using the remainder of the ingredients solely as support.
Sprouting the beans doesn't really add any time to the whole process -- unless, of course, you are used to canned beans. Otherwise, soaking the beans overnight is similar to sprouting, except after a four-hour soak, the beans are drained. Then, every few hours, or when they look dry, they are again rinsed and immediately drained. I have found most organic dried beans will sprout their signature tail in as little as 24 hours.
If you take a hard boiled egg or two and push each one through a wide mesh strainer with a spatula, you will end up with a classic eggs mimosa flourish that gives this salad a creamy edge. After you pile on the parsley and chives, you have a very fresh salad that feels every bit as nourshing as good, quality family time at the reunion picnic.
1/3 cup dried lentils du Puy or yellow shasta lentils 1/3 cup dried mung beans 1/3 cup organic dried chickpeas 4 strips of bacon 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 3 tablespoons reserved bacon drippings 1 teaspoon sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, minced 1 tablespoon chives, minced 2 tablespoons red onion, minced 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and pushed through a strainer (set over a bowl) with a spatula Salt and fresh ground pepper Butter leaf lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried