Warm butter bean salad with basil-sherry vinaigrette

karen andrews via freeimages.com

Makes 4 servings

Served warm, this winter salad is hearty enough to stand on its own. The sweet bell pepper and salty feta complement the peppery arugula leaves.

 

For the vinaigrette

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons dry sherry

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons minced shallot

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

For the salad

12 romaine lettuce leaves, coarsely shredded

8 arugula leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup coarsely shredded carrot

1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch by ¼-inch strips

2 scallions, coarsely chopped

¼ cup finely chopped celery

2 cloves garlic, minced

One 15-ounce can butter beans, drained and rinsed

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Freshly ground pepper and crumbled feta cheese for garnish

 

Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

Spread a layer of lettuce on 4 large salad plates. Arrange the arugula leaves atop the lettuce, radiating from the center, sunburst fashion.

Heat the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the carrot, bell pepper, scallions, celery, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell pepper is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and vinaigrette; gently stir until warm, about 4 minutes. Season to taste.

Spoon the bean mixture over the arugula. Garnish and serve warm.

 

Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.