The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

Christmas Bean and Wilted Greens Salad
with a White Balsamic Reduction 
and Cranberry Dressing

Left over cranberry sauce anyone? I have prepared for you a salad
using my produce from a resent Farmers' Market finds. I also had in
my possession some exquisite Christmas Lima Beans and Persimmons.
For my greenery I used my carrot top greens and  pea shoot greens,
then shredded up a few of those gorgeous Heirloom Young Carrots.
 For the dressing I made a simple balsamic reduction and added leftover
 cranberry sauce with a bit of fresh sage and ground white pepper.

*Notes on the carrot greens...Pick young and organic carrots, the more
 mature the carrots are at harvest, the more bitter of a green they will yield.
 And if they are not organic, you will most likely encounter pesticide residue
that may not be easily rinsed away. As the greens are not as commonly
consumed, the concentration of pesticides with non-organics may be
concentrated in the greens above the root vegetable.

Christmas Lima Beans...
Are these not gorgeous? I am going to make a confession here, and aside from
maybe my parents, I doubt anyone know this...I hate Lima Beans! I mean the green
ones my parents were shoving at me since I can remember.
 Hate, hate, hate them!!!
I do alright with the white version that I blend with other beans, but I usually pick
 around those as well. But these babies are a joy for me. They are not only lookers,
 as far as beans go, but they have the most wonderful creamy nutty flavor.
 I can understand just why they were granted the name Christmas Lima Beans,
 and if you have never me you will once you have tried them :)

What you will need:
(Directions for 4-5 small starter salads)
6 ounces Christmas Lima Beans (soaked overnight)
8 young carrots, reserve tops
3 handfuls pea greens or shoots
1-2 persimmons, sliced in triangle wedges
*Note: you can replace above greens with any wilting green

The dressing
4-5 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
4-5 tablespoons cranberry sauce
2-4 leaves fresh sage
White pepper to taste
Sunflower or other oil to taste, on the side

Let's get cooking:
Soak your bean over night in enough water to cover the beans plus about 2 inches.
The next day simmer your beans on the stove top, again with enough water to cover plus.
Simmer for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until desired tenderness. Note: They should be firm
and if your skins are pealing away you may be over cooking.
Now we will need to start our balsamic reduction, pour into a small sauce pan.
Reduce your vinegar until slightly thickened, about a third or less. Purée your
cranberry dressing with sage and white pepper until smooth.
Add your purée to the reduction with heat off, and mix throughly.

Get this look:
Arrange greens in a small bowl, alternating greens around the sides.
 Place warm beans in the center and top with shredded carrots.
Place triangles of persimmon  or other fruit between the greens and carrots.
Serve warm balsamic and purée ingredients in a separate bowl on the side.
Have sunflower or oil of choice available. Allow each person to add oil to dressing
 for desired individual preferred consistency.  The greens will wilt at
the point the dressing is introduced, but the initial introduction of the salad will
be at it's most pleasing visually prior to wilting :)

Alisha~Magic of Spice

This is going over to  Seasonal Saturday at la bella vita 

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