A fresh and healthy salad that combines lupini beans, baby kale, cherry tomatoes & toasted walnuts with a zesty vinaigrette. A must try lupini beans recipe perfect for your next BBQ!
Do you think that certain foods should be reserved for certain times of the year?
I’ve often wondered about this. If you have visited this site, you know that I am a first generation Canadian with a strong Italian upbringing. Family and food were the most important aspect of my childhood. We ate fish once a week, usually on Fridays, and we had pasta on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays (at lunch). The cantina (or cold room) had shelves lined with homemade tomato sauce, jars and jars of Giardiniera, roasted red peppers and, depending on what time of the year it was, homemade sausages or prosciutto in the process of being cured.
You would be surprised to see that there was no bread in the breadbox, but pizzelle instead. And you can bet that there was always something – biscotti, taralli, or some other baked goodie- coming out of the oven, freshly baked, every single day that coincided with our return back home from school. Not to mention that the freezer was always stocked with Italian lemon cookies, ready to be glazed at a moment’s notice. All of this just in case someone would drop by unannounced.
One could argue that there was a sort of rigidity to this way of doing things and the order in which the kitchen was run. But the funny thing is that it provided stability. You knew that if it was Sunday, the kitchen would be full of cousins, aunts and uncles. It was going to be loud, it was going to be busy and it was going to be fun. There was a routine in the unpredictability, and order in the chaos, kept by a well-run and well-stocked kitchen.
I once asked my mom about making her special mostaccioli cookies in the middle of the summer. She told me that there was a time for everything and for those mostaccioli cookies, it was Christmas. She told me that if she made them every day then they wouldn’t be so special anymore. Recently, I came across a picture of lupini and I thought to myself, why do I only make these during the holiday season? And I remembered my mom’s words.
I wonder if there is really a perfect time to have certain foods. We certainly followed a schedule in my childhood, and that schedule did certainly give me some of my fondest memories. Maybe mostaccioli wouldn’t have tasted quite as sweet if I could have them year-round. Maybe lupini beans weren’t meant for the summer months.
But then I thought, for me right now, the strongest association to lupini beans that I have is not the holiday season – but the memory of my mother at the holiday season. Somehow, I felt that that memory would keep lupini beans from ever losing their “bite”. They’re not a holiday food… they’re a mom food.
I was inspired by a lupini salad picture and made this salad while thinking about my mother. I chose to make it with local summer produce, and the result is as fresh, delicious, and nutty as I could have hoped for. Not to mention a very healthy salad.
I’ve already sung the praises of the lupini and I’ve demonstrated that they are easy to make. Rinsing the lupini beans a few times a day can get tedious, but then just remember what nutritional powerhouses they are and you’ll feel motivated again. Be sure to visit my detailed post on how to make lupini beans lupini beans to see how easily you can make them at home.
I have combined my love of lupini with baby kale. Truth be known, I am not a great fan of kale. But have you ever had baby kale?! It is delicate and so much more subtle in flavor than its full-grown counterpart.
For those of you that do not like kale, don’t let that stop you from enjoying this wonderful salad. Kale can easily be replaced with:
- chicory or
As you can well imagine, this is a super easy recipe to make…
The first thing we need to do is to remove the outer shell of the lupini beans. Please note that this outer shell (or husk) of the lupini bean is in fact totally edible. Depending on personnel preferences, you can decide to remove it or include it.
Once you have de-shelled your lupini beans, set them aside for a minute while we make the vinaigrette.
The vinaigrette is simply made by whisking together balsamic vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice. Once whisked, I add the chives and roasted garlic. Whisk it a little more and then add the lupini beans. Allow to sit together while we prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In another bowl, combine the baby kale and the quartered cherry tomatoes. Please note that any tomatoes can be used for this recipe. Once again, based on personnel preference, I find the cherry tomatoes to be a little sweeter so that is what I like to use in this recipe.
The final step involves adding the lupini beans (and the vinaigrette) and gently mixing to combine.
If you love legume salads, be sure to make this Summer Chickpea Salad, it’s a real crowd-pleaser!
The original inspiration came from a pin I found on Pinterest.
Yes, I did it again… I fell down the Pinterest rabbit hole!!! Nevertheless, I am extremely happy because it got me thinking about incorporating lupini beans, one of my favorite foods, as an ingredient in a salad.
My upbringing dictated that lupini beans were to be eaten only during a certain time of the year. But they are so easy to prepare, they really should be enjoyed throughout the year.
Originally, I had wanted to make this salad with the arugula I planted in my backyard. Unfortunately, it wasn’t ready, but my husband did find some wonderful baby kale at the local market. It was a great substitution.
I especially enjoy it when topped with my homegrown sprouts.
By sharing this lupini salad recipe with all of you, I am hoping to inspire you to make your own salad with lupini beans. For example, summer is a great time to take advantage of seasonal and local produce like cherry tomatoes and kale and incorporating these wonderful foods with lupini beans in salads.
I would love to hear about any ideas you might have on how to enjoy lupini beans no matter the season.
In the meantime, I am working on a few recipes to highlight summer produce… stay tuned!
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made this Lupini Beans recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Lupini Beans with Baby Kale Salad
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice fresh
- pinch red pepper flakes optional
- 4 tablespoons chives fresh, minced
- 2 cloves garlic roasted, chopped
- 2 cups lupini beans outer skin removed
- 4 cups baby kale fresh, rinsed and spun dry
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1/3 cup walnuts toasted and chopped
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice and pepper flakes (if using).
- Whisk in the minced chives and the roasted garlic.
- Add the de-shelled lupini beans and mix together. Set aside while we prepare the rest of the salad.
- In another large bowl, toss together the baby kale, and cherry tomatoes. Set aside,
- Add the lupini vinaigrette to the salad. Toss together.
- Ads sea salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle with toasted walnuts.