White bean and olive salad with fresh herbs

White beans are a cheap, versatile ingredient for the beginners out there.

Beyond the Peel
A quick, tasty and filling salad for the summer.

I put on a batch of beans recently on a stormy night (sounds scary, right?). I made a triple batch so that I could freeze the extra portions. Having them on hand is a huge time saver and it doesn’t take any more time to cook two cups as it does to cook one.

You can always use white beans in a jar or even canned beans, if you’re just getting started with whole foods and are working your way up to making them yourself. If you’re interested in learning how, here’s an easy video on how to make them at home for pennies in comparison to the precooked ones.

The first time I served this salad it was on a bed of thinly sliced zucchini (I used a carrot peeler, but for more than 1 person a mandoline would be faster) drizzled in olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice and fresh ground pepper. Today I enjoyed it on a bed of freshly picked spinach from the garden toasted in a Tuscan Herbed Olive Oil and Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic (thanks Tina for the lovely present). Or try it on sliced tomatoes or with steamed green beans even. And if you’re into bread, it would make an exceptional topping of toasted sourdough as an appetizer…

White bean and olive salad with fresh herbs
Serves 2-3 (depending on size of appetite) Double as required.

1 1/2 cups cooked white beans, navy or cannellini beans

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced

1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Salt and pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Mix to combine. Season with any additional salt and pepper to taste.

Optional Additions:

1 tablespoon lemon juice, tomatoes, red peppers, zucchini, spinach or arugula.

Related post on Beyond the Peel: What to do with Radishes and Fresh Fennel

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