» Monday Night Supper
June 12, 2017
Monday night. Depending on your profession, these words can have a lovely ring. Monday is the start of the workweek for most people. For me, as a classroom teacher, Monday was like the bottom of the mountain with all of the other days leading up to the top – that being Friday, of course. After Friday, you can sail down the mountain into Saturday and Sunday with ease. For my stagehand husband, however, Monday is the middle of the weekend. Most theaters have shows Tuesday through Sunday afternoon. So Monday is the blissful day we get to spend together. It’s also a bit of a conflicted day. As a pattern designer, for the most part I am not subject to the Monday – Friday schedule. But my daughters are, and that means I get pulled into that world too. Half of our household starts Monday at the bottom of the mountain, and the other half is on their way down.
That means Monday night dinner is inconsistent in the Walsh house. Sometimes we do it up big, because we are all home for dinner at the exact same time. It’s the equivalent, in our house, to Sunday night supper. Other days, we just want something simple because we take the chance to do something fun as a family. On those days, especially when the weather is warm, I like to make this Mediterranean Black Bean salad.
Main dish salads are something of a coup if you ask me. First of all, they almost always look lovely. I really am a fan of lovely looking food (as are many creative people, I’ve noticed!). I’ve convinced my daughters to eat many a vegetable because of it’s great color (sometimes health benefits are just not enough for a five year old!). And, depending on the protein and dressing combination, I usually have no problem convincing my meat and potatoes husband that salad is not just for ladies and lunch.
This salad is perfect for our family because there’s something in it that everyone likes and nothing in it that anyone hates. Here’s the recipe:
Mediterranean Black Bean Salad
4 cups fresh spinach, torn into large pieces
3 cups cooked basmati rice, cooled
1/4 cup water
16 oz. black beans
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
Pepper and Cayenne to taste
1 1/2 cups diced tomato (I use cherry tomatoes, halved)
4 ounces Feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp. Pine nuts or walnuts toasted
1 seedless cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 c. kalamata olives, halved
good quality Olive Oil and Balsamic vinegar
Lemon wedges to serve (optional)
Arrange spinach on a large platter. Top with rice. Heat water, beans, cumin, coriander, pepper and cayenne in a saucepan 5 – 7 minutes. Stir to prevent sticking. Spoon beans over rice. Top with tomato and sprinkle with Feta cheese and pine nuts.
Arrange cucumber slices along the edge of the salad and sprinkle olives on top. Drizzle oil and vinegar over the entire salad. Serve warm.
**I use extra feta, Walnuts, and sprinkle lightly with paprika for a dash of color over the feta. Bring the olive oil and balsamic to the table so people can add more if they wish.
I serve this salad frequently. It’s great for company, especially if anyone is eating vegetarian. It’s also gluten free. Of late, we had a lot of gluten sensitivity in our neighborhood :). And pretty much everything in it is healthy. It also goes together quickly and I am happy to report that I have enjoyed it with all shades of wine (not at the same time) and beer. If I feel like I need to have additional protein I serve it with a simple tuna salad or grilled chicken. I also like to serve hummus and/or pickled onions on the side. (to make a quick pickled onion, slice one onion thinly and place in a bowl. Cover with red or white wine vinegar and let sit for at least an hour. I add celery seed to this! Store leftovers in the fridge)