Since becoming gluten-free, lunch is the meal I struggle with most often. For the majority of the week it needs to be something that can be assembled in 10 minutes maximum, and for a couple of those days it needs to be portable. I don’t have time to stare at the contents of the fridge for ages before dragging out a couple of ingredients with which to try to make something palatable from. Occasionally I will get inspiration the night before and will put something together in advance. Most of the time I rely on left-overs from the previous evening’s supper, even if it is only soup.
However, sometimes Hungry Horace comes for supper, and there will be nothing left.
And as for grabbing something when I am out and about – almost impossible. Very few places carry gluten-free sandwiches, and if they do they generally contain a slice of cheese and some limp lettuce. Occasionally I might come across a decent salad (that doesn’t contain cous-cous or pasta), but on the whole I make sure I have an emergency supply of almonds and dates in my bag to snack on. Not very exciting, but they keep the hunger pangs at bay.
I’ve been making this salad for years, on and off. The ingredient list is small and it takes 5 minutes to put together. All that is required is a little chopping of a shallot, crushing of a garlic clove, both of which get fried in a little olive oil. Add a tin of flageolet beans, a handful of cherry tomatoes (cut in half) and a splash of sherry vinegar. Stir until warmed though and it is done. With the addition of a little seasoning. Serve with your favourite bread (gluten-free or otherwise).
Don’t be tempted to skip the sherry vinegar, as it really brings everything together. If you don’t have sherry vinegar, then a good balsamic will work instead. Or possibly champagne vinegar. You want to use something that is a little sweet and not too acidic.
Flageolet Bean Salad
- 1 small shallot, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 400g tin (265g drained weight) flageolet beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 tsp sherry vinegar
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.
- Add the shallot and cook until starting to soften, then add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
- Add the tomatoes and cook until they start to break down and release their juice.
- Add the beans and stir until heated through.
- Stir in the vinegar. Season to taste.
- Serve with your favourite bread.