Salads: Beans (x 3), and Claremont (origin NJ)

I don’t eat a lot of salads, but last week I had four different (and quite delicious) ones. It started late in the week, when I was cleaning out a closet holding my dried beans stash, along with packs of Polaroid film that went out-of-date 20 years ago. (It’s an eclectic collection.)

I try to keep my beans fresher than THAT, but sometimes they get away from me. While I was reviewing what was on the shelves, I came across three 1 lb. packages of dried Italian Royal Corona beans. I figured I should cook one of them, so I went through the usual ritual:

  • soak beans overnight in cold water with some Kosher salt
  • cook beans the next day in a bean pot, with a small onion and bay leaf
  • when beans are tender, let them cool in their broth
  • save the beans and broth in separate containers
  • use beans as desired

Here are some of the beans selected:

The following day I decided to make some bean salads — two salads with Corona beans, and since Barbara prefers other beans, I made one for her with black beans plus an heirloom Rancho Gordo beans from Mexico.  Since this appeared to be salad day, I discovered that she had made a salad, too.  This was the famous Claremont Salad, a signature dish in the high-end Claremont Diner in Verona, NJ, in the 1950’s.  Her version consisted of cucumber, cabbage, carrots, and onion, pickled in a slightly-sweet vinegar dressing.  (She eschews pepper, and forgot the celery vs. the original recipe.)

Barbara’s Claremont Salad

Salad: Black Bean, King City Pinks, and Ayocote Morado with onions, celery, carrot, and parsley

Salad: Royal Corona beans, with onion, celery, daikon radish, oil and vinegar

Salad: Corona beans, with chopped radicchio Treviso, radicchio Castelfranco, grated Calabrian Pecorino, and plenty of top quality olive oil and red wine vinegar

Calabrian Pecorino from Eataly Boston

When we were all done, here is what three of the four salads looked like in my lunch plate.

FINALE: Lunch Plate

with melba toast



This entry was posted in Almost-Vegan, Food, Vegetarian, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

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