When my MIL hosts an event, there is enough food to feed about 50 people. Possibly more. Not because 50 people are coming, but just because that’s how my MIL cooks. She married into an Italian family, and that’s how Italians cook. Trust me.
So I often feel bad offering to bring more food over, but I also consider two things:
1. Six of us are vegetarians (my girls and me, and my SIL Earthmother and her two children) and
2. It’s important to have something that the kids will actually eat. (This doesn’t always work out, however. Regardless of what my children will eat at home, if there are enough people and/or enough snacks and candy available, you can bet that getting a healthy protein or vegetable down their gullets is a foregone conclusion.)
Earthmother contributed a fabulous quinoa salad (most overheard quotes of the day regarding her dish, “What’s that? Keen-wa? What kind of food is that?” I am eagerly awaiting her recipe because it was good.
I decided I wanted to do something simple and tasty, so I went with a white bean salad. The beauty of it is that you can pretty much do anything with a white bean salad — it’s like a canvas to make something pretty and fresh tasting.
I used cannellini beans (white kidney beans; other options are great Northern beans or navy beans) as my base. I added a few thin stalks of broiled asparagus (asparagus tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic, and roasted at 400° for about 6 minutes in the oven), one radish, 1/4 cup fresh dill, and vinaigrette. My vinaigrette was 1/2 cup olive oil, three tablespoons vinegar (2 sherry vinegar, 1 balsamic — I would have used red wine vinegar if I had any), one clove garlic, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, salt & pepper. Just toss everything together, and let marinate for a few hours.
It was very good, and I have a little left over for lunch sometime this week.