Many foods taste better the next day. Think leftover spaghetti: You mix the noodles and sauce and let it hang out in the fridge, noodles soaking up sauce, sauce thickening. You microwave it the next day and then slurp up those reddish sauce-infused strands.
I’m not usually a leftovers-lover though. I peer at Gladware in the fridge and am disappointed about having to eat the same thing again. Even though they often taste better, I find leftovers boring.
This weekend I discovered a solution: Firstovers.
When we arrived at my parents’, my mom made some grilled flatbread sandwiches. They reminded me of lunches she made when we were kids…except…something was different. The sandwiches had nuttiness, acidity, beans, barley.
I asked Mom what it was. Answer: “Oh, I just threw in some leftover bean salad.”
That night we had turkey burgers for supper with mom’s leftover bean salad on the side. I hadn’t finish chewing my first forkful before requesting the recipe.
I didn’t end up with a recipe though. Instead, here’s what my mom told me:
“Oh, I had some quinoa leftover from dinner the other night. I added some corn, black beans, red onion and cilantro with some olive oil and white balsamic. A bit of salt. Lots of pepper. Then yesterday when I was making chicken barley soup there was extra barley so I put that in. And there were some soy beans leftover that I tossed in. And some parsley. It’s just leftovers thrown together with a few other things really.”
Leftovers, and yet I loved them. The reason: I hadn’t been in on the quinoa side dish or the chicken barley soup. This salad had all the benefits of leftovers but I was eating it for the first time.
The result: Firstover Bean Salad, which was anything but boring to me.
Check out the other posts in the series When Does Food Taste THE BEST?