I had been planning to make a pot of vegetarian three bean chilli for some time but as the weather has become more spring-like I’ve been eating less soup and stew for lunch and more salads and sandwiches. Since my kitchen is now in a state of disrepair (more on that soon) it seems a lot more sensible to make a salad than try and cook something up on my paltry single hob. Despite fancying a cold lunch, I still wanted the flavours of a good bowl of chilli so I set out to make something spicy and smoky but salady at the same time.
Now, I’m not going to pretend that a simple salad can match chilli’s depth of flavour since the beans aren’t going to be simmered in tomatoes and spices for several hours but the lime and chipotle dressing packs a great punch of heat, smoky spices and zingy fresh citrus that my lovely mix of beans soaked in overnight. The dressing ingredients may seem odd, but trust me that a little Marmite adds depth of flavour. The salad benefits frmo being left a while to soak up the dressing – it’s great for packed lunches then snarf it down with a tangle of greens and chopped cucumber. By all means chuck on some toppings; avocado, roasted chicken, feta cheese or roasted peppers would all work well.
Mixed bean salad with lime-chipotle dressing
- 400g tin mixed beans
- 400g tin black eye beans
- 300g tin salad corn
- 6 spring onions, sliced
For the dressing:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp chipotle paste
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp Marmite
- 1 tsp sugar (mine was smoked)
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Juice of one lime
- Salad leaves
- Feta cheese
- Olives or whatever floats your boat
Drain and rinse the beans and corn, place in a large bowl and snip in the spring onions.
Put all the dressing ingredients in a jam jar with a well-fitting lid and shake until combined. Add a little salt and pepper to taste.
Mix the dressing with the beans and turn to coat well. Cover the bowl and leave in the fridge for a few hours for the flavours to meld.
To serve, pile the beans onto your favourite mix of salad leaves and eat as-is or with any toppings you fancy. This salad is also tasty served with tortilla chips for scooping.