We recently held our island’s annual fundraising event. Starting sometime in the early spring, I designed a menu that would happily feed most. Any one dish could be omitted, and the rest would still be a great meal. This was the easiest and most economical way to feed over 130 people regardless of most food allergies or concerns. As well, we have very limited cold storage, and as this was being held in early August, that was a key concern for the amount of food we’d be preparing. What I came up with was a menu that included five different salads, all to be served family style to tables of eight. Each was made of components that could be mixed just before service. As well as the salads, we served small appetizer plates, BBQ chicken with fresh peach salsa, fresh rolls, and Peach-Blueberry Crisp with ice cream. It was a great meal, with a lovely mix of textures, colours and flavours. I have promised to post the recipes, so here’s the first of five.
4 sundried tomatoes (either dried or oil-packed)
6 oz/170 gr trimmed green beans
6 oz/170 gr trimmed wax beans
1 19 oz/540 ml tin cannellini beans (or white kidney beans)
2 T white wine vinegar
1 T sugar
1 T olive oil
1 t dried thyme
¼ t dry mustard
½ t salt
½ t pepper
Hard-boil the egg by putting it in a small pan of cool water, and bringing to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 11-12 minutes.
Remove the egg, and put it in a bowl of cold water to cool.
Once cool, peel & halve.
Using the back of a small spoon, push the halves of the egg, one at a time, through a medium sieve to a plate. Keep working until all of the egg has gone through the sieve. Cover the sieved egg loosely with plastic wrap, chill and reserve for topping.
If using dried tomatoes, simply blanch them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain and cool.
Put a 3-litre pot of salted water on to boil.
Using the bowl that you used for the ice water (but drained and wiped dry), make the simple dressing. Add in the vinegar, sugar, oil, thyme, dry mustard, salt & pepper. Whisk thoroughly.
Add in the green & wax beans when they are dry to the touch.
To serve: arrange the salad on a platter, and scatter with the sieved egg. You could also crack some pepper over the top if desired.
Serve at room temperature.
To do ahead, simply do three components separately until an hour before service.
- Sieve the egg, up to 24 hours ahead.
- Prepare the cannellini bean, sundried tomato & dressing mixture up to 24 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
- Prepare the beans up to 8 hours ahead.
- One hour before serving, mix the white bean mixture and green & wax beans together, and leave at room temperature.
- To serve: arrange the salad on a platter, and scatter with the sieved egg.