Friday, May 17, 2013

Mixed Bean and Radish Salad

Fish makes me nervous. It's not that I find most fish to be shady characters, it's more the unscheduled trip to the ER kind of nervous. Not rational. Roo has never tested positive for a fish or shellfish allergy and he has been tested. He's eaten fish multiple times with no reaction whatsoever, but for some reason every time I slip a little fish sauce into a marinade or dare place a flake or two of salmon on his plate my knees get a little quaky. Yup that, friends, is my idea of living on the edge.

My goal is to get the KC kids eating more fish, first, because I need to get over my own irrational fear that Roo's going to go into anaphylactic shock if he ingests an anchovy, and second, because kids who squeal at the sight of fish on a plate are annoying. That's not to be confused with kids whose parents choose not to give them fish for religious or moral reasons, sheer personal preference, or obviously, because they are allergic to fish. Those kids are not annoying. Well, maybe they are annoying, I really don't know. That's for you to decide. Anyway, that my kiddos balk at the smell of fish cooking is decidedly irritating and I'm taking steps to remedy it. Baby steps.
So here we go. Anchovies. Look, there they are right up top. Rest assured there is no way my children, particularly my girls, would entertain the notion of trying a bite of salad (or chocolate cake for that mattter) if they had the slightest inkling that there were tiny hairy fish in it. That's why I didn't mention it.
And fortunately they didn't ask.

Mixed Bean and Radish Salad
adapted from bon appetit

2 anchovy fillets, packed in oil, drained
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp capers, drained
2 & 1/2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided (pack it into the cup to measure if you're a perfectionist)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch radishes, trimmed and sliced
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup black olives, pitted and halved

Put the anchovies, oil, capers, and 1 cup of parsley into a food processor or blender. Puree until you have a slightly coarse, pulpy puree. Transfer to a small bowl, stir in the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste, but watch the salt. Between the anchovies and capers, this is already one salty dressing.
Put the radishes, all the beans, olives, and remaining parsley in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the top and toss gently. Do not mention the anchovies to anyone under 10 until they've finished eating.
In fairness, this wasn't the kids' favorite salad but they all managed a few bites (yeah, a few bites of briny, beany, radish salad with secret anchovies!) and that is progress. Happily, Roo survived yet another uneventful fish exposure. Though the idea of him and a bite of lobster still makes me start to lose my hearing. I'm working on it. And still the push for more fish on the KC table continues.

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