lunchbox life: butter bean salad with pea shoots, chicken, and goat cheese

photo(10)Happy Sunday, everyone!  Alex and I enjoyed a lovely Saturday and Sunday morning on Lake Sinclair with some fine folks, and I hope that you had a great time with your friends and family.  Now that the weekend is winding down, it’s once again time to chronicle this next week’s lunches for Mrs. Morrison, your favorite US HIstory teacher.

I am so excited about this week’s lunchbox life, mainly because I relied on our trusty Dirt Farmers CSA box to show me the way.  We received a plethora of goodness this week, and I was particularly curious about what to do with the butter beans and lady peas.  Sure, I knew I could simmer them in some chicken stock and serve them as a side, but I wanted to do something a little different this time.  I’m using the bean/pea combo for both my lunches and for tomorrow night’s Meatless Monday, so stay tuned for butter beans and lady peas, part two.  You might recognize the butter beans in the photo, but the smaller peas alongside them are called lady peas or lady cream peas.  This Southern Living article does a great job at breaking down the differences in summer beans and peas, but suffice it to say that both of these lovelies are mild in taste and creamy in texture.

I also ordered pea shoots this week–pea shoots are a mild, delicate, and slightly bitter microgreen that add a nice pop of dark green to any salad.  I sliced up some radishes for color and a hint of spice.  I don’t care for raw red onion, but you could use some thinly sliced red onion or thinly sliced radishes here interchangeably. Also making appearances in this salad are chicken for protein, parsley and lemon juice for brightness, and goat cheese for…well, do you really need a reason for goat cheese?

I paired this salad with some chunks of white-fleshed sunburst melon from our CSA box.  It’s a lovely melon that looks like a cantaloupe, yet tastes like a cross between very ripe honeydew and cantaloupe.  Yum!

Butter Bean Salad with Pea Shoots, Chicken, and Goat Cheese

Serves 4-6 as a main dish or 8-12 as a side dish

2 1/2 cups fresh or canned butter beans and lady peas (or just butter beans)

4 cups chicken broth + 1 tsp. salt (if you’re using canned butter beans, you won’t need this)

about 10 sprigs fresh thyme (or about 2 tsp. dried thyme, only use if you’re using fresh beans)

2 chicken breasts, cooked, cut into cubes

8 oz. soft goat cheese, crumbled

1 cup pea shoots (substitute arugula, chopped, if you can’t find pea shoots)

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

4 radishes, thinly sliced

juice of 1 lemon

If using fresh beans: in a medium-sized pot, bring beans, broth, salt, and thyme to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes.  You can also do this in the rice cooker.

Combine cooked beans, chicken, goat cheese, pea shoots, parsley, radishes, and lemon juice in a large bowl.  Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight and serve.

WW info: 5 servings, 8 PP each

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