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Chef Gary Maclean's Summer Bean Salad Zero Waste recipe

This panzanella-esque salad is designed to minimise waste

Published: July 15, 2021

Gary Maclean has opened his first restaurant, Creel Caught, in Edinburgh’s St James Quarter. As the name suggests, it serves seafood, and this recipe would work pretty well with any fish dish. It’s been designed in partnership with the Scottish Government #LetsDoNetZero campaign, to lower the amount of food that’s wasted. Discover more top tips on how to reduce food waste and eat sustainably here:

Gary Maclean's Summer Bean Salad Zero Waste Recipe

This recipe’s core ingredient is a tin of mixed beans however you could also use kidney beans or chickpeas. If using chickpeas, you can use the leftover aquafaba (the liquid) to create vegan meringue or, if using ordinary beans, try freezing the leftover liquid and adding it to soups and stews when required, for an additional depth of flavour. The tin can be recycled or take the label off and use it as a make-shift pot to plant herbs. Leftover onion peel can be saved and used to thicken up soup or gravy.

Serves four


1 tin mixed beans, drained and washed

300g red cabbage

1 medium carrot

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1 red onion

100g peas, defrosted

1 lettuce

1 tsp mustard

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25ml vinegar or lemon juice

125ml oil

Stale bread, diced

Salt and pepper

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1 Add 25ml of oil to a frying pan and heat up, then add the diced bread and cook until crisp, finish with salt and cracked pepper.

Drain and rinse your chosen beans.

Shred your red cabbage and pop in a bowl, sprinkle with a little salt and about half of your vinegar or lemon juice - it will add some acidity to the dish and helps enhance the colour of the cabbage.

Slice the carrot (keeping the skin on).

5 Shred your lettuce and soak in ice-cold water to crisp it up. Wash, peel and rewash your onion, then slice.

6 Make a simple dressing by mixing the mustard with the remaining vinegar and 100ml of oil. If you are using English mustard, cut down the amount you are using as it is very strong, ½ a teaspoon would work.

7 In a large bowl, add the beans, cabbage, carrots, peas, onion and shredded lettuce. 

Divide between four plates and top with crunchy croutons.

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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