RECIPE: White Bean Salad

Our kitchen gets pretty toasty in warmer months, so any “snack-meal”* that we can make without turning on the stove earns major bonus points. This one earns extra points for being healthy and very adaptable. It’s not quite summer yet, but we’re having friends over to watch the Bruins take on the Rangers (Game 3 of the Eastern Semi-finals!) and this salad is a fast, easy appetizer.

Serves 4-6 as a side; 6-8 as an appetizer
The beauty of this bean salad is that you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand. You’re out of olives but have capers? Switch it up! No tomatoes but you have a bright red-bell pepper? Go for it! The important thing to remember is the harmony of sweet and briny ingredients. I always try to add a sweet vegetable (corn, or an orange or yellow bell pepper) to any salad with salty ingredients so that every bite is balanced and pleasant.

Ingredients

  • 1 29-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup cherry or sun-gold tomatoes cut in half
  • 1/2 cup pitted mixed olives, coarsely chopped (1 c. if omitting white anchovies)
  • 1/4 cup white anchovies, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons champagne or white-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Method

  • Combine beans, olive, anchovies, parsley, crushed red pepper flakes, and lemon zest in a medium bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, make a simple dressing by whisking together lemon juice, vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil until emulsified.
  • Pour dressing over bean mixture. Toss lightly and season with salt & pepper.

This salad is great on its own. If serving it as an appetizer, it’s best alongside a freshly sliced baguette, but hearty crackers or pita chips can be used in a pinch.

*Snack-Meal (snak-mēl) n. – An awesomely delicious small-meal that is hearty enough for a light-lunch or dinner

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