Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Garden Salad with Black Beans and Feta

Besides the fact this salad is really delicious, it is also beautiful, can be made ahead and easy to make. 

Blog's Category: Healthy, My Staple Food, Vegetarian


Isn't it nice when you are served with a salad, in which all ingredients speak for themselves - no need to ask "excuse me, what's ingredient list for this one.."? Your guests won't be bugging you with questions, if you serve them with this pretty garden salad creation.

Use your creativity to place your chopped or sliced vegetables in artistic manner, or simply copy my version of salad. Of course, you can try almost any combination of vegetables and other traditional salad additions, such as cheeses, nuts, seeds of croutons. Although, here, I'm suggesting ingredient combination that was already tested and received highest ratings from my family and friends.

I've made my own recipe for the dressing - I wanted something simple and yummy. I think, I ended up with a "bingo" combination for a dressing, which I'm going to use over and over again.

What ingredients I insist on for this recipe?

- Nice (not low fat) feta. It's creamy, bold and tasty.
- Light (low sodium) soy sauce. It just tastes better! Almost always, I use this one.
- White vinegar. Not balsamic, not wine vinegar, not apple. Simple, old white vinegar.

What is it?

A few vegetables, black beans and feta cheese are layered artistically on a plate. Soy sauce and white vinegar based dressing.

Taste Description

Each ingredient brings its own note into this salad "orchestra". I really love feta in here, though I couldn't say I'm a big fan of feta. Beans makes this salad richer and more balanced. Gentle soy sauce umami flavor, mingled with white vinegar and a bit sugar, makes a difference as a perfect dressing for all that goodness.


- Use this dressing with any other salad - it's easy to make and delicious.
- I like to use small glass jar with twist-on lid to shake up dressing. It's easier, faster and less messy than to use bowl and whisk. Also, it can be made ahead, popped in a fridge and than, just grab it, one more shake before pouring it on a salad to serve and voi la!

How to Serve

Salad can be plated in advance and kept in a fridge under a plastic wrap for a several hours. Pour dressing over right before serving, or directly at a table. I is your choice to mix all ingredients up at a table, before serving onto your guest's individual plates, or leave it as is allowing people to serve themselves whatever they want from that plate.

Garden Salad with Black Beans and Feta

For a large plate to serve party of 8:
  • 3 roma (plum) tomatoes, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 small cabbage, shredded 
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 cup of crumbled feta
  • 1 medium english cucumber, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 4 tbs olive oil

  • 1/4 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • black pepper

- Cucumber requires a little bit extra steps - after slicing it thinly (I use mandoline), add about 1 teaspoon of salt, stir and let it sit for about 10 minutes while you are preparing other vegetables. 

- Slice, chop, shred vegetables as described in ingredient list.

- Transfer cucumber slices in colander and rinse well. Before placing cucumbers on a top of salad, squeeze out extra water. You will get tender, wavy, still a bit crunchy fun looking cucumber slices. 

- Arrange vegetables on a plate - take a look at pictures below, and ...

- Done! Pour dressing and enjoy :)



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