Sometimes I really want a food that is traditionally made with meat…like crab cakes or sausage balls. Since the meat part of those recipes is just not going to happen (for health reasons), I’ve had to get creative with beans. And surprisingly enough, if you season the beans correctly you can make something that tastes very, very much like the real thing. (I got one of my co-workers to taste test my Kidney Bean Sausage Balls and she agreed that it tasted like a real sausage ball!) With these white bean “crab” cakes you get all of the tastiness of crab cakes, minus the shellfish allergies and other things that we don’t want, like animal protein and fat.
The first night that I made the crab cakes, which is one of our favorite gluten free vegetarian recipes, I was also really wanting a creamy salad of some sort. Since I was out of the usual suspects (pasta, English peas and carrots) I decided to see what I could do with the fresh fruit and veggies that I had on hand. The result is a cool and refreshing summer salad featuring corn and juicy,fresh peaches. This is one of those dishes that should have given us leftovers, but didn’t because John and I both kept going back to the fridge for more bites!
White Bean Crab Cakes
(Serves 4 – 6 )
1 c. onion, diced
1/2 c. celery, diced
1/2 c. red bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 lb. white beans, cooked and drained *
2 green onions, green parts only and sliced
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. parsley, minced
3/4 tsp. stone ground mustard
1/2 c. mayo or Vegannaise
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1 1/2 Tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1. Saute the onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic in a little olive oil or water over medium low heat until the vegetables are tender.
2. Mix the vegetables and all other ingredients in a large bowl. Some of the beans will fall apart when you do this, and that’s just what you want. If you’re using canned beans, give half of them a spin in the food processor before adding them in.
3. Form the mixture into small cakes, approximately 2.5 inches in diameter. You can either pan-fry them with a little olive oil and a medium-hot skillet or bake in the oven at 350 F until they are golden. I prefer the texture of the pan-fried cakes, but the oven baked cakes hold together better.
4. Serve the cakes with tartar sauce, or my Savory Peach and Corn Salad.
*You can substitute 1 lb. of crab meat, if you like.
Savory Peach & Corn Salad
2 cans of corn (11 oz), drained (feel free to use fresh if you have it)
1 ripe peach, diced
1/8 c. celery, diced
1/8 c. pecans, minced
1/2 red bell pepper
mayonnaise or Vegannaise, to taste
red wine vinegar, to taste
parsly, minced , to taste
Mix all ingredients and chill for 30 minutes, if you can wait that long.
P.S. Sorry to be vague with some of the amounts. Sometimes I like a little bit of mayo and vinegar and sometimes I want more. I’d suggest starting with a small amount of mayo and then gradually working up to the amount you want. Then start with the vinegar and parsley and do the same.
P.P.S. To choose a ripe peach, hold the peach near your nose and sniff. If you smell peachy goodnes, then it’s ripe. If not, put it back and keep looking.