Three Bean - Arugula Salad with Grape Leaf – Mint Pesto
My photo doesn't do this wonderful salad justice! We were experimenting at Committee, the restaurant in Boston where I am consulting chef, and this winter salad of three types of beans and a Greek-inspired Grape Leaf pesto is the delicious, healthy result! To find some of the artisinal Greek products you'll need to make this, visit my online shop here, where you'll discover a host of lovingly curated Greek ingredients.
- 2 cups cooked Greek giant beans
- 2 cups cooked black-eyed peas
- 2 cups cooked cannellini beans
- 2 cups trimmed baby arugula
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 4 scallions trimmed and finely chopped
- Grated zest of one lemon
- For the pesto
- 12 brined grape leaves drained, blanched and trimmed
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 4 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
- 2/3 cup toasted pine nuts or toasted blanched almonds
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2/3 cup extra virgin Greek olive oil or more as needed
To cook the beans, soak them overnight then boil separately. Remove when tender but al dente and drain.
Rough-chop the grape leaves and place in a food processor with blade attachment. Place the mint, garlic and nuts in the bowl of the processor, too. Pulse until the mixture is a dense paste. Gradually add olive oil, until the resulting sauce is thick but liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine the beans, arugula, chopped parsley, scallions and lemon zest in a serving bowl. Pour in and toss the pesto. Serve immediately.
To garnish the salad, you can take a whole grape leaf and deep-fry it. It's delicious crunchy!