Two Bean Salad with Hearts of Palm and Blue Cheese

A long name for what I will just call good......

I actually made this salad last weekend, but haven't gotten around to posting it until today. I have some unsaid rule that I try to stay away from the computer as much as possible on the weekends. I think I just get too much during the week - sitting in front of a computer for 8+ hours every day.

This is my first recipe
from Cat Cora's Cooking From the Hip. I was feeling a little ambitious, I guess, because I have never tried hearts of palm before, so I had no idea of what to expect. I was a little hesitant to make this, because I knew I would have to make the whole recipe because cutting it down would be a little difficult. I would end up with half a can of chickpeas, kidney beans, and hearts of palm left, and instead of just letting them go to waste, I made the whole salad. I also wanted to get the whole layered look.

I get so frustrated shopping for ingredients sometimes. I cann
ot find arugula anywhere. I also have never been able to find shallots anywhere until yesterday, so I substituted some baby greens for the baby arugula and an onion for the shallot. I also didn't have any sherry vinegar, so I decided to use red wine vinegar. But I only had about a quarter cup of that, so I did a mixture of red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar. Even with the substitutions, this salad exceeded my expectations. I made it as a side dish for dinner on Friday, and my husband didn't want any. I ended up eating the rest myself over the next couple days (taking out the greens because they got a bit soggy). This is very flavorful, and a very pretty salad as well. This will definitely be an option next time I need to bring a salad to a family gathering.

I have decided to enter this into Lis and Kelly's Excellent Salad 'Stravaganza. Even thou
gh this isn't a regular green salad, this is definitely healthy. Just what my body has been begging for as the weather really heats up!!

Another apology for a bad photo - I realized Friday evening that I had forgotten my camera at work, so I resorted to my old camera. Horrible picture, but hopefully you get the idea!

Two Bean Salad with Hearts of Palm and Blue Cheese
from Cooking From the Hip

1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 c sherry vinegar (I used 1/4 c red wine vinegar and 1/4 c balsamic vinegar)
1 t sea salt
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 c chopped shallots (I used an onion)

1 8-oz can hearts of palm, drained
1 c drained kidney beans (I just realized that I used the whole can!!)
1 c diced cucumber
1 c halved cherry tomatoes or sliced regular tomatoes (I did diced regular tomatoes)
1 c drained chickpeas (again, realizing I used the whole can)
1 c baby arugula leaves (I used baby greens)
1 c crumbled blue cheese

For the Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Set aside.

Slice the hearts of palm into rings and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the kidney beans and 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Toss quickly to flavor the beans, then spoon the beans into a large serving bowl to form the salad's bottom layer. Using the same small bowl, toss the cucumber with a little vinaigrette, and add to the serving bowl to form the next layer. Follow the same steps with the tomatoes, chickpeas, arugula, and the hearts of palm. Finish by sprinkling the cheese over the salad. Chill, preferably for 1 hour, and serve.

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