If you fly fish in Washington state, especially around the Olympic Peninsula, chances are good you’ve heard of Jeffrey Delia. He’s a master Sea Run Cutthroat fisher and fly tier – Check out Peninsula Outfitters and you might luck into an SRC or tying class taught by Jeff, or find some of the many flies he’s developed for sale.
That’s one facet of the man, and yeah, I fly fish and that’s how I met him – but he’s here because he’s one hell of a fine home cook. Jeff is of Italian heritage, and his cooking shows that love for fresh ingredients, and honors them by highlighting their finest qualities.
If there’s one cold salad I really, really love, it’s a beany thing, and Jeff has consented to share his Mom’s venerable recipe with us today – So with no further ado, here’s Mim Delia’s Old Style Italian Bean Salad, perfect for Spring.
Jeff writes, I’ve been eating this Italian style bean salad since I was a little kid so I know it’s at least 60 or 70 years old. You can boil your own beans and that will make it even more delicious, but in a pinch, canned beans make a great salad for a party or a last-minute addition to dinner. You can also use cannelloni beans, black beans, or even black-eyed peas, or beans of your choice. The measurements in the following recipe will serve 6-8 people generously.
Conversion Note: 1 pound of dry beans will yield around 6-7 cups of beans when boiled, and a 15 ounce can of beans yields 1 1/2 to 2 cups.
Mim Delia’s Old Style Italian Bean Salad
3 – 4 Cups Garbanzo Beans, drained.
1 1/2 – 2 Cups Red Kidney Beans, drained.
1 1/2 – 2 Cups Black Olives, drained.
10-2 Pimento Stuffed Green Olives.
10-20 pitted Kalamata Olives.
1 Medium red, white, or yellow Onion, sliced as thin as you can.
Mix all ingredients well.
Make a classic Vinaigrette –
1/4 C Red Wine Vinegar.
3/4 C Olive Oil
1-2 Tablespoons stone ground Mustard.
1/2-1 teaspoons ground black Pepper.
Pinch dried oregano and dried basil.
Pinch of Salt
Whisk salad ingredients until dressing is emulsified, pour over salad ingredients, mix well and let marinade for at least an hour, (it gets better by the hour so make it the day before if you can.)
If there’s any leftovers I often heat them in a small frying pan and then scramble some eggs into the mixture for a tasty Italian omelette breakfast.