Red happens to be my favorite color. It’s the color of love, passion and desire. It demands you to take notice. It’s exciting, energizing and powerful. I find all kinds of ways to envelop myself with it, even in the kitchen. On this 22nd day of my #100DaysofSalad project, it pleases my soul to share with you this crimsoned beauty of a salad. I love all the variations of red that dot themselves in this dish.
This salad starts off with a spicy Spanish chorizo — the spicier the better. I start off by heating a teaspoon of oil in medium sauté pan, over medium-high heat. Chorizo is by nature very fatty, so while you don’t need the extra teaspoon of oil, I use it primarily to indicate when my pan is hot enough. I know my pan is ready once the oil begins to smoke. Once I add the little medallions of chorizo, I just sit back and let the pan to the work. As the chorizo sizzles away, oozing out it’s spicy, paprika-infused oil, I prepare the other ingredients, being sure to return my attention to the pan on occasion to brown the chorizo on both sides.
Protein-rich kidney beans not only add a wonderful sweet-earthy flavor, but they also surrender their visual beauty with their dark and moody burgundy skins. Be sure to completely rinse off the thickened liquid that coats the beans in the can, you don’t want to muddy your salad. It’s true that we eat first with our eyes, so be sure to pick tomatoes that are plump and as intensely scarlet as you can find. I love the way that the tomatoes look like sparkling rubies in a sea of red, once they are slicked with the dressing. And naturally, the only onion worthy of an appearance in a red salad is a red onion, sliced very thinly, complimenting the chorizo with its own unique spiciness.
Once the chorizo has cooked and yielded its oil to the heat of the pan, which shouldn’t take long—a mere 4-5 minutes, things go rather quickly. I remove the pan from the heat and add a splash or two of raspberry vinegar, to counter the spicy oil with its sweet-sourness. Then, I add in the kidney bean, tomatoes, salt, and onions and give everything a good toss. Garnet goodness! Enjoy.
4 ounces uncured spicy Spanish chorizo, sliced into 1/2″ rounds
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 -14ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 small red onion, sliced thinly
1 – 3 tablespoons raspberry or red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus extra for for seasoning to taste
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, as intensely red as you can find, washed and cut in half
parsely, roughly chopped, optional
Heat the olive oil in medium-sized saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil has begun to smoke, add the chorizo. Allow the chorizo to sizzle away. Turn the ruby-colored meaty medallions every so often, so they don’t burn, but bronze. They will release a beautiful and flavorful oil as they cook. Once they’ve fully cooked, which shouldn’t take long —about 5 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the pan from the heat source.
Then, add the kidney beans, red onion, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and the tomatoes. Toss well. Taste and add a sprinkling of salt if needed; much of which will depend on the saltiness from the chorizo and beans. Sprinkle on the sparsely and serve.
Use uncured Spanish-style chorizo for this, which you will have to ensure you cook thoroughly. If you can’t find uncured chorizo, feel free to use cured chorizo, for which you should start off sautéing in a cold pan, then turn the heat on. Starting in a cold pan will help the fat in cured chorizo to ooze out.