This all started with the second batch of slow cooker pork I’ve made in one week’s time.
See, I’m trying to come up with some solid taco meat that I can make ahead in the slow cooker for my fiesta next month. Last week, I made Everyday Food‘s Spicy Pulled Pork, which is good enough that I’ll probably write it up soon. It was way too saucy to be taco meat, though. Yesterday, I made a batch of carnitas in my slow cooker using a recipe from AllRecipes.com. The meat was really tender and moist, but it didn’t taste like much (despite a spice rub and a chicken broth bath). Needless to say, Dr. O and I have been eating massive quantities of Mexican-style pork, and it’s getting a bit old.
So tonight I’m deviating from the menu plan – rebel, rebel! – and spicing up the leftovers. With a little barbecue sauce and a skillet, the carnitas will become pulled pork sandwiches. I wanted some kind of barbecue-style salad to go on the side to round things out, and I just happened to have everything for Everyday Food‘s White Bean-and-Tomato Salad. I hate to do too much work on leftovers night, so thankfully, the salad only took 5 minutes to throw together.
In a large bowl, I combined 1 (19-ounce) can of cannellini beans (rinsed and drained), 1 pint of quartered cherry tomatoes, 4 scallions (thinly sliced), 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. The recipe says to season with salt and pepper but doesn’t specify quantities; I used about 1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. I tossed everything together and stashed it in the refrigerator until dinnertime. (The salad can be made up to 1 day ahead.) That’s it!
Despite the use of canned beans, this salad tastes really fresh. The acid from the tomatoes and the lemon juice really brightens things up, and the scallions add a bit of zip. I love the texture play between the beans and the fresh tomatoes as well. This salad would be right at home on any barbecue buffet or in any picnic basket; I anticipate using this recipe over and over again this summer.
TIPS: This is definitely one of those recipes that will be horribly bland if you don’t season it correctly. Start with my recommended seasonings (or a bit less); you can always add more. Always, always, always taste food and adjust seasonings to your liking before serving! :)
Update 4/18/10: I’ve found that seasonings typically fade a bit when I refrigerate salads, and this one was no exception. After tasting it, I stirred in another pinch of salt before it hit the dinner table.
Recipe link: White Bean-and-Tomato Salad