If you live in North America, you’ve no doubt tasted edamame beans–those fresh, green soybeans that are delicious, though often over-priced. Ever since I first tasted them while in the States, I’ve looked for them in Italy…but alas, I couldn’t find them. Soy is one of the few vegetable proteins that is a complete protein, and while dried (reconstituted) soybeans have their place in soups and some casseroles, I love the fresher taste of edamame beans in salads, omelets and stir-fry dishes.
Then one day, a light bulb went off in my head…Since soybeans are so common in Chinese cooking, I wondered if one of those little corner Chinese grocery stores down in the city might carry them? The next time I went into town, I did a little exploring, and voila! They had frozen, shelled edamame beans! Knowing how expensive they can be in North America, I went to the cash register calculating in my head how much I would be willing to pay for them–and found that they cost only €1,20 for a 400 g (almost 1 lb.) bag! I bought two bags and we began enjoying them immediately. One dish I made was a tossed salad with avocados and edamames.
Since my blogs aren’t primarily nutrition posts, I won’t list all of the dietary benefits of both avocados and edamame bean–not to mention eating green, leafy lettuce–but after just a little research on the internet, I can assure you that not only does this salad taste great, but it also brings lot of nutrition to the table. Edamames have a lot of protein and fiber, as well as lots of Vitamins C and A, and one-fifth of a medium avocado (1 oz.) has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals to your diet.
You can use almost any type of lettuce for this salad, except iceberg (please!) since it has such little nutritive value. I used a lettuce called Mâche in French, or Feld Salat in German. In English is is often referred to as Lambs Lettuce or Lambs Ears.
The tiny bunches of leaves are cut off right at the root. In fact, sometimes you have to pinch off a bit of the fine roots that are attached. This lettuce is sold primarily in the winter and early spring, since it grows best in cool weather.
To the lettuce I added thawed edamame beans and peeled. diced avocados. You can add as much or as little as you like. Remember that you usually have to purchase avocados a few days before they’re ripe enough to enjoy…
I chose to use a creamy salad dressing, my version of a dressed we used to purchase in Germany. Unless you’re feeding an army, there will be more dressing than you need for one meal…but just keep the remaining dressing in the fridge and use it on any salad. In Around Our Table, where this recipe is featured in Our Daughter’s Wedding Reception meal, I served it over mixed greens with smoked almonds and crumbled feta cheese. Delicious!
Below is the salad dressing recipe. Enjoy!
- 1/2 C. (125 ml) sour cream or plain (unsweetened) yogurt
- 1/2 C. (125 ml) mayonnaise
- 1-2 T. grated fresh onion (or 1/4 tsp. onion powder)
- 1 T. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 C. (60 ml) milk
Mix all ingredients together. If too thick, add a little more milk. (This can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.)
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