I learned two things yesterday.
The first came from our across the street-ish neighbor, who has lived here pretty much her whole life. Back before they had useful things here like indoor plumbing, telephones, refrigerators, paved roads, and cars (or even bicycles) everyone could afford to buy and run, she and her mother kept all sorts of things like pigs, geese, and chickens (and grew potatoes and cabbages, etc). So although she spent most of her adult life driving cars and working as a receptionist for various businesses (the high point being when she worked at the manor house two miles from here that was at the time a respected but money losing center for the arts and got to know Leonard Bernstein because he used to love to come here every summer for their music festival), she knows stuff that people in the countryside know. Like if the rapacious carnivore getting into your hen houses and licking out the contents of the eggs is coming out of holes in the ground, it’s not a weasel, but rats which, yes, probably have pups. Which I guess is good, since if the local weasels were bothering to get into the hen house through the holes gnawed through the edges of the door, they wouldn’t be eating the eggs so much as the chickens.
The second thing I learned yesterday was that the lentil-feta salad I’ve been making for years also works well with mung beans. Call it trial and error or just the divine inspiration that comes from no longer wanting to stare at the four year old half a bag of mung beans sitting on the kitchen shelf because I haven’t had any idea what to do with them.
And it was… good! Which is a bummer, because it means I will now go out and buy more mung beans so I can make it again, meaning my kitchen will never be free from partly used packets of mung beans.
So here it is:
Mung Bean Salad
- 225 g unhulled whole mung beans
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 carrots (preferably the tasteless but crunchy white or purple variety), chopped
- 5-6 sun-dried tomatoes, either oil packed or dried ones rehydrated for a few minutes in hot water, chopped
- feta cheese
- Soak mung beans overnight then simmer in a generous amount of water until they reach the desired consistency (I found that this took roughly 1 hour, although cookbooks I looked at suggested it should take 1.5 to 1.75 hours).
- Combine with minced garlic, chopped onion, chopped carrots, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
- Mix in olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar.
- Eat warm, cold, or at room temperature, with crumbles or cubes of feta cheese.