Hearty Bean & Grain Salad with Simple Orange Juice Dressing

Serves 1. Multiply ingredients accordingly when serving more.

I'm a big fan of simplicity when it comes to salads and with an orange in hand ready to squeeze, it doesn't get any easier than this. Not only that, this one-serving recipe serves as a good basic formula from which to create a delicious and satisfying main course entrée or as the basis for a quick lunch or dinner during the week using whatever freshly cooked or leftover grain or cooked bean variety you may have sitting in the fridge. It is also a great salad to make ahead as it really tastes best when the flavors are allowed to meld for a minimum of 2 hours or even overnight


Opt for the best salad-making grains, such as bulgur wheat, any medium-grain rice variety, barley, einkorn, or farro, that do a great job soaking up the flavors from whatever else they are paired with while maintaining their chewiness. Although most beans will work fine, beans that retain their shape after cooking, including borlotti, garbanzos, great northern beans, great northern, pinto, red beans, etc. are the top choice for appearance and texture. And, you can always use canned beans, like I do, for when I have none already cooked and I am in a hurry.

Setting aside the orange juice momentarily, gently combine all other ingredients. Top off with a good hearty squeeze from half an orange or juice from the fridge. Cover and refrigerate, ideally a minimum of 2 hours, before enjoying.

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