Cannellini Bean and Tomato Basil Salad
This is a summertime favorite salad for one of my clients. Very fresh from the garden flavors yet hearty enough for a meal.
1 ½ cups cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
1 ½ cups heirloom tomatoes or red tomatoes, chopped
2/3 cup cucumbers, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup red pepper, chopped
1/3 cup green pepper, chopped
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced
2 Tbs white or red wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Stand tomatoes stem side up. Slice tomatoes straight across into ½ inch slabs. Lay flat on board and make 3 long cuts and then several cross cuts. This is the easiest way to cut cube pieces of tomatoes for salads. Any seeds and juice fall out remove off cutting board.
If using large cucumbers, cut cucumbers in long slabs and then into long pieces. The center piece will contain most of the seeds, discard the seeds. Then cross cut into ½ inch cubes. Toss with tomatoes.
Add cut red and green peppers, cilantro, basil and garlic. Toss again.
Make dressing by combining all the ingredients. Mix well and toss with bean salad. Serve immediately. This will keep up to 5 days refrigerated.
Bites of Insight: Cannellini beans a very popular in Italy, and especially Tuscany. They are mild flavored and related to the kidney bean. Navy beans or great northern beans can be substituted. The many health benefits: low in fat, high in protein, high in fiber, minerals, B vitamins. This bean is a staple of minestrones, fagioli’s, and salads and stews.