Fifteen minutes to a very easy and boldly flavored Tuscan White Bean Salad. If you love the foods and bright flavors of the Mediterranean, then like me you probably already have the ingredients in your pantry and fridge. Prepare Tuscan White Bean Salad to enjoy immediately. Or make it a few hours and up to a day in advance. As the cannellini beans sit in the dressing, they become seasoned through and through, making their flavor pop even more.
Serve this hearty Tuscan White Bean Salad as a main dish. Toss it with or place it on top of a bed of watercress, romaine or butter lettuce. Dish it up as a side salad. Enjoy it for lunch or as an appetizer spooned into leaves of butter lettuce or radicchio.
With its balanced textures and flavors, Tuscan White Bean Salad is satisfying and filling. Using canned, drained cannellini beans, it quickly comes together. Especially important when your blood sugar begins to fall and you have to eat something immediately.
Although esteemed throughout Italy, half-inch long Cannellini beans (also known as white kidney beans) are especially popular in Tuscany in central Italy. The toscani (people of Tuscany) are known as “bean eaters” because of the important role beans play in their diet. With a firm, creamy texture that holds its shape and its mild, nut-like flavor cannellini beans are essential for minestrone and numerous other classic Tuscan soups, salads and spreads.
When you have the time, of course, cook your own cannellini beans. Though opening a can of cannellini beans is so convenient, that’s what I usually do. Some brands taste and hold together better than others. I especially enjoy Eden Food’s Organic Cannellini Beans cooked with the healthy sea vegetable known as kombu or kelp. When cooked with the beans, kombu enhances their flavor, digestibility and nutrition.
Organic Oven-Dried Tomatoes
Have you tried the very luscious oven-dried, organic tomatoes from Costco? Such concentrated essence of tomato. I confess to having eaten them directly out of the jar with a spoon. As they’re already in strips, no additional cutting’s needed. Just toss them into the Tuscan White Bean Salad and enjoy.
(Full disclosure: I am in no way compensated by either Costco or Eden Foods.)
- Crumbled feta or goat cheese.
- A shaving of pecorino or parmesan just before serving.
- Blanched green beans or haricots verts cut into 1-2-inch lengths.
- 1 tablespoon finely sliced fresh mint in addition to the fresh rosemary.
- Pesto or thin strips of fresh basil replacing the fresh rosemary.
- Half a thinly sliced purple onion instead of scallions.
- ½ cup diced celery or sliced and quartered cucumber.
Dish it up as a side salad. Serve Tuscan White Bean Salad as an entrée over a bed of watercress, romaine or arugula. Enjoy some for lunch or as an appetizer spooned into leaves of butter lettuce or radicchio.
Should you have the time, let the salad marinate for a few hours before serving lightly chilled or at room temperature. The white beans will be even more deliciously flavored.
Dairy and gluten-free. Thank you Chef Susan Goss for inspiring this recipe.
Makes 4-6 servings Printer-Friendly Recipe
Start to Finish 15 minutes
2 teaspoons Homemade Country-Style Mustard or other whole-grain mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon salt
Dozen twists freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 29-ounce can cannellini beans, drained (3½ cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
½ cup thinly sliced green onions (both white and dark green parts)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped, drained sun-dried (or oven-dried) tomatoes packed in oil
¼ cup quartered, pitted Kalamata olives
- Toss the drained cannellini beans with the dressing.
- Fold the fresh rosemary, green onions, tomatoes and olives into the beans.
- When you have the time, let the salad marinate a few hours before serving lightly chilled or at room temperature.