10. April 2013

Curried Cannellini Bean Salad with Avocado-Cashew-Cream Dressing

This salad recipe was actually inspired by a non-vegetarian recipe from my childhood: raw fish salad. No, it’s not sushi. In Germany families like to eat salted herring salads during winter. My mum always used to make it for lunch around New Year’s. The salted herring is different from the pickled herrings because it is still raw and has only a mild fishy taste to it.
The salted herring salad is traditionally made with apples, beets, pickled cucumbers, onions, bay leaves, juniper berries and a heavy cream sauce. We  always served it with boiled potatoes.
I really enjoyed this dish as a kid and I wanted to make something similar for a while now. But I was really wondering about the spices I should add. When I saw an egg salad recipe on Green Kitchen Stories, I knew, curry it was!

The recipe:
Since I wanted to keep the recipe plant-based, I dismissed my first idea of making a yoghurt dressing and went to an avocado-cashew-cream dressing, instead. And I must say, I don’t regret it! The cashews and avocado make a wonderfully creamy dressing that makes nobody miss the dairy. So don’t worry serving it to non-vegetarian people or say, your grand-parents.
The curry complements the sweetness and the earthiness of the apples and beets well and adds an interesting aroma to the dish without being overpowering.
The beans are a great source of protein and make this dish a great lunch. I recommend to serve it with toasted whole-grain bread and if you dare to, a few crumbs of soft goat’s cheese.
I also see me making this salad for a future pot-luck or a picnic in the park.
Ah spring, please come to my town!

Curried Cannellini Bean Salad with Avocado-Cashew-Cream Dressing

(Serves 4-6 as a side)

½ cup cashew nuts, soaked for 1 hour
½ avocado
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Fleur de Sel
½ tsp curry powder, or more to taste
Pinch of cayenne
Pepper to taste

480g (17oz) cooked cannellini beans (I used canned)
1 apple, chopped
2 small cooked beets, chopped
2 large stalks of celery(or 4 small), chopped
8 sprigs of parsley, leaves chopped

Toasted whole-grain bread
Soft goat’s cheese, optional

Add all dressing ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Assemble beans, apple, beets, celery and parsley in a large bowl.
Pour over the dressing and mix well to cover everything nicely. But be careful to not crush the beans too much. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve on toasted whole-grain bread.

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