This is my current favorite summer salad. I’ve made it twice in a matter of weeks. It’s simple, it’s tasty, it’s filling, and it requires nothing more involved than a pot of boiling water (that you don’t need to be near) as far as cooking in a hot kitchen.
And it’s even better the day after you make it. Which is why it makes spiffy lunches, as you can see above.
I am pretty sure my entire history with mung beans involves bean sprouts, including the ones I nurtured myself in a glass with a damp paper towel inside the dining room side cabinet in elementary school. Considering how easy and quick they are to prepare as food and not science, I sort of wondered why that was – we had separate bins dedicated to varieties of beans and peas – until I mentioned this salad to my father, who proceeded to inform me that he didn’t care for mung beans.
(I think he might like this salad anyway, but I’m not going to push.)
Mung beans are cheap and easy to find and if you’re not sure where you fall on the love/hate mung bean spectrum, you can find them in the bulk bins at Whole Foods where you can buy just a little and check ‘em out.
Mung bean and corn salad
3/4 cup dried mung beans, cooked
2 large or 3 medium/small ears corn, kernels removed (about 2 cups)
1 small red onion or 2 shallots, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Throw everything together, stir, taste, and serve, basically. Warm or cold.
Notes: (1) Mung beans are extremely easy to cook. They’re small and don’t really need pre-soaking if you don’t have that kind of time or foresight; they’ll be done in well under an hour if you just stick them in a pot and boil them in water. (2) I parboiled my corn in the microwave, but if your ears are sweet and not too starchy, use them raw. (3) I used onion the first time and shallots the second and think both work equally well. Do not be tempted to add more onion or garlic if it doesn’t seem to be a strong presence right out of the gate. It will be one the following day. (4) If your corn is not very sweet, I’d add a touch of a sweetish commercial salad dressing (a raspberry vinaigrette, for instance). Don’t overdo that, either.
I find cutting the corn ears in half to be of some help when it comes to stripping them – the kernels tend to scatter less. I still am no kind of neat about it, though.
This picture is entirely so you can see my brand-new, spiffy metal colander. I love this colander on its own merits, not just because it meant I could retire the red plastic one of doom.
Basil from my plant.