Ottolenghi-inspired bean, grain and greens salad

Since moving to Portland in September and switching my public radio affiliation to OPB, I’ve been exposed to several shows that weren’t on the St. Louis Public Radio waves–the most notable being America’s Test Kitchen. During last week’s episode, a woman after my own heart called in, asking for advice about how to cook in the Ottolenghi style without breaking the bank. This is an enduring topic of interest to me–I have seldom actually followed a recipe from Plenty or Jerusalem exactly as written due to extravagant ingredient lists that often include unfamiliar items. You will find some of my successful adaptations on this blog. The ATK team honed in on the crucial core principles of an Ottolenghi meal: grain/legume, caramelized onion, a bit of yummy cheese, potent greens/herbs, and something with texture or crunch. Needless to say, I began concocting my recipe immediately. Tonight, it turned into an especially delicious dinner.


1 cup brown rice + water/stock for cooking

1 cup garbanzo beans, cooked with garlic

2/3 cup edamame, thawed

1/2 a large red onion, sliced thin

3 cloves garlic, diced (more if you didn’t cook your garbanzos with garlic)

1 cup loosely packed arugula

2 Tbsp pistachios, roughly chopped

1/4 cup goat cheese

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

juice of half a lemon

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper


Get the rice going first. When it’s 15-20 minutes away from perfect, heat a skillet over low-medium and add the oil.

Start caramelizing the onions, Keep the heat low and let those suckers get nice and sweet, stirring occasionally.

After 10 or so minutes, add the garlic, and then about a minute later, both kinds of beans. Increase the heat a bit, especially if your edamame is still cold. Stir frequently, squeezing in the lemon juice.

The rice should be done cooking now. Add it to the skillet, and if your beans are hot, turn off the heat.

Meanwhile, bring the balsamic vinegar to a gentle boil and then simmer until reduced by half. Remove from heat.

Transfer the contents of the skillet to a large bowl. Add the arugula and stir well, letting in wilt. Then add the cheese, balsamic vinegar, and pistachios. Toss it all up and serve, seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.




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