This is a great meal for busy nights or for the hot summertime when you don't want to fire up the stove. Something I just threw together last night but ended up being one of the best salads I've ever made. I served it on lettuce-lined plates and it was a perfect supper for us. Even though it has a lot of ingredients, it's still quick and easy to pull together, and it is one of those recipes where the sum of the parts works so well that the whole is special. I included my recipes for two salad ingredients (marinated mushrooms and Korean salad), but you can easily fined them in many grocery stores or delis. Another great thing about this salad is the variety of the vegetables and meats you can use or just eliminate meat for a vegetarian version. —Kukla
For the salad
• 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, well rinsed and drained
• 1 cup marinated small white button mushrooms, drained
• 1/2 to 3/4 cup Korean Carrot Salad
• 1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
• 1/2 pound Canadian bacon, sliced and then chopped in 1-inch lengthwise, 1/4-inche thick pieces
• 3 whole scallions, thinly sliced on a bias
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste
• Half bunch cilantro or parsley, leaves and stems, finely chopped
• 1/3 cup Best Food or Hellman’s mayonnaise + 2 teaspoons of each, lemon zest, juice, finely grated ginger, honey and crushed coriander seeds, whisked together
For the marinated Mushrooms and Korean Carrot salad
• 12 ounces small white button mushrooms
• 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, (1 large lemon)
• 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
• 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Korean Carrot salad:
• 1 pound of fresh (preferably long) carrots, shredded on a mandolin into thin strands
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 large shallot diced
• 1/4 cup sunflower or canola oil
• 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds, crushed
• 1/2 teaspoon or more to your taste cayenne pepper
To marinate mushrooms: Using a damp towel, gently wipe dirt from mushrooms. Place mushrooms in a medium bowl, and add the remaining ingredients. Toss to combine. Set mushrooms aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally, to marinate, at least 20 minutes or up to 4 hours. Serve at room temperature.
To make Korean Carrot Salad: Place the shredded carrots into a mixing bowl. Sauté the shallot in oil until the soft and translucent. Add coriander seeds and cayenne pepper toward the end of the cooking time. When the shallot is done, immediately add it and any leftover oil to the carrots; toss.
In a small bowl, mix vinegar, ginger, garlic, honey, and salt. Add dressing to the salad, and mix well. Refrigerate overnight.
To assemble the salad: Toss to combine all salad ingredients, (except the mayonnaise sauce), in a large mixing bowl; then mix-in the sauce, taste and add what ever is needed. Your salad is ready to eat and enjoy!