Explore a new pulse with this sweet and tangy, cherry tomato and mung bean salad. Don’t forget the capers and dill.
I developed this recipe whilst cooking on a retreat in Italy, back in April. I was cooking for Replenish You again, and this time the host was Tally Rye, who’d chosen the most amazing location for the retreat nestled away in the hills above Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast.
It’s always exciting / scary in equal measures when working abroad, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to find in the shops. Our shop at the beginning of this particular retreat was fairly epic to say the least. Two and a half hours after entering the supermarket and 4 shopping trolleys later we had squeezed all the shopping into – on reflection what was – a very small hire car. The supermarket car park had Mount Vesuvius lurking in the background. A bit different from my local in London.
I had written on my list various notes about buying enough pulses and whole grains to form the backbone (along with seasonal veg) for the salads I would make for daily lunches. After raiding the supplies of chickpeas and cannellini beans, I wanted something a bit different, a bit like puy lentils. There were none to be found so instead I bought a packet of what was labelled as ‘Azuki Verde’, green adzuki beans I assumed (many different spellings are correct). I’d not really cooked adzuki beans since my training in California, but these looked pretty like mung beans. I’m still not sure if that’s in fact what they were, since most adzuki beans tend to be red.
The tomatoes in Italy in April, were as you can imagine already tasting delicious, so I decided to keep them raw in the salad. With plenty of capers for saltiness, and good tasting olive oil and balsamic for the dressing, this couldn’t be simpler. This is a great salad to serve for a lunchtime mezze or perhaps along side a BBQ.
Now that tomatoes are coming into their season in the UK (many grown on the Isle of Wight!) it was time to recreate this salad, and that I did on yet another retreat (this time with The Retreat Club) over the late May bank holiday weekend at the Green Escape in Surrey. There’s no oven there, so a salad that is cooked pulse plus some chopped veggies (yes I know technically a tomato is a fruit), along with a simple dressing no needed to be blended in an electric powered machine works perfectly.
Here’s the recipe, I’ve suggested you use mung beans, as I know they’re easy to get hold of – unless you fancy popping to the large Auchan supermercato in Pompeii for the Azuki Verdi.
If this has whet your appetite for tomato season, perhaps try some of these recipes by my fellow bloggers, carbohydrates seem to be a winning combo for toms.
- Tomato, black olive and goats cheese galette
- Whipped feta and tomato bagel
- Yellow tomato and bean gazpacho
- Cherry tomato and rosemary focaccia
- East tomato puff pastry tart
- Roast tomatoes with garlic, basil and chilli
- Pizzetta toast
- Quick and east roasted cherry tomato sauce (great with pasta)
- Or my chilled tomato gazpacho
Cherry Tomato & Mung Bean Salad
- 250g mung (or adzuki) beans, soaked for 4-6 hours
- 600g of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 70g capers
- 10g dill, shredded
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- flaked sea salt, to taste
- basil for garnish
- First cook your beans. Rinse well and place in a saucepan with 750mls water. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes until they are soft enough to eat but retain some bite. The longer the soak, the shorter the cooking time so check on them regularly. I often add a bay leaf to the cooking water.
- Drain and cool under cold water, drain again shaking off as much excess water as possible, then transfer to a large bowl.
- Add in the cherry tomatoes, capers, dill, garlic along with the oil and vinegar and stir well to combine. Start with ½ teaspoon of salt, taste and then if the salad lacks depth of flavour add more till it sings. It will depend on your tomatoes.
- Garnish with basil.
Have you ever tried mung (or adzuki) beans in a salad, or tried any other different / exotic pulses?
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Oh and before I sign off I just wanted to let you know that my app has had an update with another 25 shiny new seasonal recipes! If you have the app don’t forget to head to the app store and get your free update, if you don’t yet have the app – what’s stopping you?? Thank you, Ceri x