Serbian Salata od Pasulja — Bean Salad
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This is my mother’s recipe for salata od pasulja, or, as we usually called it, pasulj. (Pronounced sa-LAH-tah od PAH-sool-yah, or just PAH-sool-y. Just stick that “y” sound right on the end of the word — you can do it!)
She always made it as one of the traditional dishes served at the special dinner served on Serbian Christmas Eve (Badnje Vece)
This uncomplicated dish has a clean taste with a light, crisp zing. In fact, it’s a perfect summer salad, Christmas customs aside.
This kidney bean salad is delicious, and so easy to make. Here’s the recipe my mother gave me. I doubt her household had canned beans in the 1920s, but it’s possible, as her grandparents owned a general store. If there were commercial canned beans at that time, that’s where they would be, after all.
You can prepare this dish up to two days before serving.
I’ve heated up the leftovers — it makes a pretty darn good hot soup as well!
2 cups kidney bean salad
Temperature and time
Four hours chilling, after combining ingredients.
- 1 can light red kidney beans, including the juice
- 1/2 medium-sized onion, diced fine
- 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tbs. white vinegar
- 1/2 tbs. lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- several grindings of pepper
Equipment that bears mentioning
See-through serving bowl that can be stored in the refrigerator as well as presented on the table.
- Stir together all ingredients.
- Chill at least four hours, so that the flavors blend and bloom. It won’t taste like much before then, but its pleasant snap will develop during that time.
Serve cold or at room temperature.