Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Three Bean and Goat Cheese Salad


It's summertime and that means one thing: salads.

I went through this faze last summer where I ate only lettuce-free salads. I have nothing against lettuce except that everytime I make a salad using it, my salad somehow winds up slimey and gross. This could be because I'm lazy and my bag o'salad (as my family calls it) and I usually bring said salads to work for lunch. This means that the salad has sat in it's fake tupperware for hours soaking up olive oil and vinegar dressing.

But I digress.

Lately for lunch, Hungry Cougar and I have been hitting up the local Au Bon Pain for their ginormous salad bar. The other week I noticed they had three bean salad out.

I love, love, love three bean salad.

I know what you're thinking:

three bean salad? That's the food of choice for potlucks and picnics. My grandmother makes that.

This isn't your grandmaother's three bean salad, I promise you.

The secret ingiedient (which isn't a secret because it's in the title of the post) is goat cheese. A few weekends ago I visited Mr. and Mrs. Butter in Indianapolis and had the most wonderful local goat cheese from their local farmer's market. The minute I got home I went to my local farmer's market and picked what I can only describe as goat cheese heaven.

It was goat cheese with olive oil and garlic. It was divine.

I hadn't intended originally to put the cheese in the salad but I threw it in at the last minute and it seriously brought the whole meal together.

Three Bean and Goat Cheese Salad (a Wicked Good Cook Original)

Ingredients:

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6 scallions, chopped
1 cup green, red, and orange bell peppers,diced
1/2 cup cucumber diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup mixed olives
1 cup pepperchinis (optional)
3-4 oz goat cheese
3 tbsp italian dressing

Directions:
Mix all ingriedients in a large bowl

Chill for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

The best part about this recipe is that you could literally throw anything into the mix: feta cheese, tomatoes, red onions, celery, carrots, ect. After all it is a salad.

You could serve it as a side dish, or on top of lettuce, or even eat it as a meal. Just remember, there are a lot of beans. Eat at your own risk.

It's a totally veggie friendly meal. Make it vegan by taking out the goat cheese.

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