Meatless Monday: Three Bean Salad with Jalapeno-Cilantro Vinaigrette
Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?
If we were to choose one quality that unifies vegetarian dishes and sets them apart from their meatier counterparts, it's the crunch factor. That satisfying sensation, delivered upon the first good-for-you bite, is one of life's great pleasures (on par with walking shoe-less in the sand and smelling the salt spray off the ocean). This salad, which appears to be a standard bean-and-corn situation, has unexpected layers of flavor thanks to coriander seeds, cilantro leaves, honey and lime juice. String and wax beans act as the crisp foil to smooth cannellini, and all three are benefited by the toothsome pop of freshly shucked corn (not to be underestimated). The dish is designed to have a kick — it's tossed in a zippy jalapeno vinaigrette — but if you're not a fan of heat, simply remove the pepper's seeds before making the dressing. Serve and crunch away.
1/2 jalapeno, roughly chopped and seeded if you don't want it too spicy
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously. Add the ears of corn and boil for about 5 minutes (3 minutes if using local corn during the summer). Once the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cob. Reserve the kernels in a large bowl.
After removing the corn, add the string beans and wax beans to the water. Boil until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Then transfer the beans to a bowl of generously salted ice water. Once the beans have cooled, transfer them to a paper-towel-lined plate and pat them dry. Trim the tops and cut the beans into 2-inch pieces. Add the trimmed string and wax beans, along with the cannellini beans, to the bowl with the corn.
In a small skillet over medium high heat, toast the coriander seeds until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a spice grinder and pulse until finely ground. In a food processor, add the cilantro, lime juice, honey, ground coriander, scallions, garlic, jalapeno, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Pulse a few times, and then stream in the olive oil while the processor is running. Add the dressing to the bowl. Toss and check for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if desired.