Herbed Bean Salad with Garlic Toast

There's a few things I really love... fresh herbs, beans, and garlic toast!  This recipe combines all of them for a seamlessly delicious meal.  I love the contrast between the warm, crisped garlic toast, and the cool, fresh bean salad.  The celery brings some crunch, and the sherry vinegar brings the acidity.  At once, this recipe is hearty, simple, and SO GOOD!

Garlic toast is very easy to make.  Slice a baguette length-wise, and then, cut each half in half.  Slather it with vegan butter or brush it with olive oil.  Sprinkle it liberally with fresh ground black pepper, kosher salt, and garlic powder.  You can either broil it in the oven on top of a parchment lined cookie sheet, or throw it on the grill.  Either way, watch it carefully to make sure it doesn't burn.  It crisps up really quickly.  Next thing you know, you'll have some garlic toast that is gooshy-wonderful in the center, slightly browned around the outside, and loaded with savory flavor. 

This salad will keep for about 2-3 days in the refrigerator.  If you can wait and allow it to marinade overnight, it tastes even better!  While I used sherry vinegar for this recipe, you could also consider using another type--maybe white wine vinegar.  Not only does the sherry vinegar brings something special to this salad, but it can also be used to flavor future salads, stews, and soups.  

Herbed Bean Salad with Garlic Toast.jpg

Herbed Bean Salad with Garlic Toast

1 shallot, chopped

¼ cup olive oil

3 Tbsp sherry vinegar (see note above)

2 celery stalks, chopped

¼ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

3 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped

3 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped

3 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped

1 15.8 ounce can of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1 15 ounce can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Salt

4 slices of garlic toast (see note above), to serve

Arugula, to serve

1. In a skillet, add the olive oil and shallot over medium-low heat.  When the shallot starts to sizzle, turn it down to low, and allow the shallot to cook for ~1-2 minutes without getting crispy or burning.  This will infuse the oil with flavor.  Add the shallot and olive oil to a large mixing bowl with the sherry vinegar, and let it sit for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the celery, parsley, dill, mint, chives, black-eyed peas, and cannellini beans to the large mixing bowl.  Combine, and season with salt.  Taste, and adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Serve over warm garlic toast with fresh arugula.

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