Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A White House Recipe From First Lady's 'American Grown' - White Bean Salad

The healthy, sweet/savory dish from Assistant Chef Sam Kass can be a side or an entree...
Recipes from the White House chefs are featured in First Lady Michelle Obama's book American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, published on May 29, 2012. Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass, who does double duty as the First Family's dinner chef, contributed a recipe for White Bean Salad. It can be used as a side, or as an entree when a light meal is called for, especially on hot summer days. (Above: Kass preps for a picnic in the Kitchen Garden)

The salad is both sweet and zesty, with Sugar Snap or Snow peas, fresh herbs, and radishes, all of which grow in Mrs. Obama's 1,500 square-foot Kitchen Garden at the bottom of the South Lawn. The dressing is a light combination of olive oil, honey, shallots, and lemon. Canned beans, such as Cannellini or Great Northern, can be used, as can dried beans. The recipe serves 4-8 people, depending on portion size.

"Creamy white beans, fresh basil and crunchy young vegetables are combined in a light but substantial salad that takes advantage of the first fruits of the spring garden," Kass wrote. "Use a mild honey, like Clover or Wildflower."

Click here for more recipes from American Grown. Check the sidebar of the blog for all other White House recipes. Click here for an excerpt from the book.

White House White Bean Salad

1 Cup dried small white beans, such as Cannellini or Great Northern; or 1 15-ounce can

1 Clove of Garlic

1 Bay Leaf

1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 Teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 Teaspoon honey

1 Tablespoon chopped shallot

1 Cup Sugar Snap peas or Snow peas

1/2 bunch fresh chives, chopped

5 mild radishes, such as Lady Slipper, thinly sliced

3 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1. If using dried beans, first rinse them, picking out any stones, and then place them in a bowl. Cover with cold water and soak for eight hours or overnight, then drain the beans and place in a pan. Add the garlic clove and bay leaf and enough water to cover the beans by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about one hour.

2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey and shallot to make a vinaigrette. Whisk to combine.

3. When the beans are done, drain them well and place in a medium bowl. Discard the bay leaf and garlic clove. Add one third of the vinaigrette to the warm beans and toss; then leave to stand for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally. If using canned beans, rinse and drain them and then toss with the vinaigrette.

4. In a small pot of boiling water, cook the Sugar Snap of Snow peas for one minute. Using a slotted spoon, place them in a bowl of ice water. Drain, pat dry and thinly slice.

5. In a large salad bowl, place the cooled beans, Sugar Snap or Snow peas, chives, radish and basil. Pour the remaining dressing over and toss lightly. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-8, depending on portion size.

Kass photo by Eddie Gehman Kohan/Obama Foodorama; salad photo by Quentin Bacon, courtesy of Crown Publishing Group.

Reprinted from American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America by Michelle Obama. Copyright © 2012 by the National Park Foundation. Published by Crown, a division of Random House, Inc.