A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the TV show, “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat,” and how educational and inspiring it is. Well, today’s post is a continuation of that praise. In the last episode, Chef Samin discusses the importance of heat. Heat is what allows you to cook food, but how you manipulate that heat can help perfect your dish. In the last segment, she prepares a bean and roasted vegetable salad that had me drooling from start to finish. Composed of roasted cauliflower, carrots, romanesco, Brussels sprouts, simmered beans and finished with a tangy shallot vinaigrette, this was one dish I knew I had to replicate. Here is my adaption of her beautiful creation.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
This roasted vegetables and simmered beans salad seems so simple but actually takes multiple steps. The first step is to soak the beans. Dried beans need to be soaked beforehand to remove the indigestible sugars. It also helps cut the cooking time two-fold. Cover the beans with 2 inches of water and let it sit for at least 8 hours or overnight.
If you forgot to soak the beans and need a quick solution, cover the beans with 2 inches of water and bring it to a boil. Boil for 2-3 minutes, cover, take it off the heat and let it sit for 1 hour.
Once the beans have soaked, they are ready to be cooked. Flavor the cooking liquid with olive oil, salt and bay leaves. The cooking liquid will be re-used to season the beans later so you want to add some seasoning.
Once the skins start to peel, the beans are ready! At this point, you may be thinking, why go through all the trouble? There are canned beans readily available that will skip all the hassle. The difference is the taste. Freshly prepared beans are just infinitely better; so creamy, so good.
Once the beans are cooked, drain them, reserving a bit of the cooking liquid. Season with shallot vinaigrette, za’atar, and the cooking liquid. Keep warm until ready to plate.
Next comes the roasted vegetables. All you have to do is cut the vegetables, toss them in oil, salt and pepper, and roast. Ideally, you want to place each type of vegetable on a different sheet pan. Each vegetable cooks at a different pace so you want to be able to remove the ones that are ready when it is the proper time. I was only preparing this dish for two so I put them all on one baking sheet but made sure to group the same vegetables together.
Make the shallot vinaigrette and fresh herb salad and you are ready to plate. First the vegetables, a little za’atar, then the beans, feta, vinaigrette, fresh herbs and Maldon salt. As I said, there are many components but they work beautifully to complement one another.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t aware of who Chef Samin was until I saw her show, but I have a true admiration for her skills. This roasted vegetable dish is, without a doubt, one of the best vegetarian dishes I have tasted. It is the star of the meal; even my meat-loving husband ate the entire platter! Bring this epic roasted vegetables and simmered beans dish to your table and trust me, you will wow your audience.
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.