Crunchy Bean, Quinoa & Carrot Salad

At least a few times each month various people ask us if it isn’t time for us to get married. The short answer to that question has always been no, both from me and Luise. I realize that this might seem a bit provoking for some, but personally I don’t feel the need to marry to prove my love for Luise. We have loved each other deeply from the moment we met, and we have an insanely cute child together. Our proof of love is right there in a pair of Adidas, size XXS. No ring needed.

Growing up during the 80’s, almost all my friends parents got divorced, and so did mine. Somehow I am stucked in that. Marriages only end up in divorce. I don’t blame my parents. They are still friends. And at birthdays and celebrations we have dinners together as a big and genuinely happy family. So me and my sister haven’t hurt much from their divorce, except for this aversion to getting married. Luise comes from a similar background, so luckily she has more or less the same standpoint. We even talked about not getting married on our first date (I didn’t realize until later what a suicidal topic that was to bring up).

Now, I invite you to prove me wrong. We’d love to read your own stories of long and happy marriages, it’s been to little of that in my life. And maybe, just maybe, we could at least talk about reconsidering what has been decided since our first date.

One reason to get married that I can easily relate to, is the wedding. They are always so incredibly fun. I love how the air is vibrating of promises, possibilities and I do’s. We are attending a wedding in Copenhagen this weekend, and that is probably the reason why I am thinking so much about this right now. I know that the bride (and of course Luise) will look stunningly beautiful, and I really look forward to the whole thing, regardless of my personal standpoint.

Before leaving, I had to clean out the fridge. We had some beautiful seasonal vegetables that have been lying there almost too long, and I combined almost everything we had into his dish. I have always been in favor of mustard dressings, especially with more crunchy vegetables like these. First time we made this dressing was in this bean salad. Today I made it into more of a meal, by adding quinoa, roasted carrots, raisins and hazelnuts. I also added some lingonberries, which I guess are typically Scandinavian. They are quite tart, and therefore add a tangy twist to the salad. You can substitute them for red or black currants or fresh cranberries.


Crunchy Bean, Quinoa & Carrot Salad
Serves 4

If you time it right, this salad can be prepared while the quinoa is cooking. Then you won’t only have a quick salad, but it will also be lukewarm, which is how I like it best. If you don’t time it right it will be served cold, but that tastes pretty darn good too.

1 lb (450 g) green and yellow beans, trimmed
2 cups quinoa

8 heirloom carrots, sliced thinly
2 spring onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup raisins
1 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped or halved
1/2 cup lingonberries (can be replaced with red or black currants or fresh cranberries)

4 tbsp Dijon mustard, preferably coarse grained
3 tsp honey
juice from 1 medium sized lemon
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
sea salt & black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Trim off the edges of the beans and put them in a large sauce pan with boiling water and a pinch of salt. Remove after only 1 minute, using a sieve. Put the water back on the heat. Rinse the quinoa and then add them to the water. Let boil for about 15 minutes, or until you can see the small tails on the quinoa. Meanwhile, add the carrot slices to a small bowl. Pour about 2 tbsp olive oil over them and toss until all are coated in oil. Spread evenly on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle some salt over and bake for about 7-8 minutes (depending on how thinly sliced they are). Keep an eye on the oven so they don’t burn. Remove when the edges are starting to curl. Now it’s time to make the dressing. Whisk together mustard and honey. Add lemon juice, vinegar and oil and whisk for about 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper according to taste.

Assembling: Add beans, cooked quinoa, roasted carrots, onion and raisins in a large salad bowl. Pour over the dressing and toss, using your hands, until everything is well mixed. Top with toasted hazelnuts and lingonberries and serve immediately.