Monday, May 4, 2009

Easy Eating: White Bean Salad

I put this salad together for the Encased Meats Festival that Linsey over at Cake and Commerce hosted a few weeks ago. I wanted something to provide a contrast to a gyro-style sausage that I'd made. The creaminess of the white beans is set off really nicely by chunks of cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives and dill. I used a simple red wine vinaigrette as a dressing but a lemon-based dressing would be great too.

I recommend that you cook your own beans for the salad if you can: they'll be a little creamier than canned and you'll be able to control the saltiness a little better. That said, if you want to use canned beans, go right ahead and feel no guilt about it. Of course, feel free to vary the ingredients based on what you have on hand.

This salad is best if you make it a few hours ahead. It makes a great side with grilled meat or vegetables. For an easy vegan dinner pair it with a green salad and a grilled portobello mushroom.

White Bean Salad
Serves 4-6
  • 4 cups cooked white beans (about 1 1/2 cups dry beans cooked or 2 large cans of beans, rinsed and drained)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in quarters
  • 3/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and torn in halves
  • 1 bunch of scallions, sliced
  • handful of dill, chopped
  • red wine or sherry vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
In a bowl, toss together the beans, tomatoes, olives, scallions and dill. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons vinegar and 3 tablespoons olive oil over the salad. Toss the salad and taste. Add salt and pepper as needed (if you're using canned beans, you might not need much salt). Add more vinegar or oil as needed to ensure the beans are well flavored and moistened with oil and vinegar.

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