My white bean salad is filled with Tuscan-inspired flavors that offer lots of brightness in every bite. Tender navy beans are combined with cherry tomatoes and olives, all tossed together with a lemony dressing and a flourish of fresh basil and pecorino.
A White Bean Salad Bursting with Tuscan Flavors
When the sun burns bright in the sky and a warm breeze blows through, the romantic in me longs to come out and enjoy my meals al fresca…
The idea of enjoying a cool salad bursting with bright, lemony flavor outdoors seems like a little gift. It reminds me of a getaway to a place like Tuscany where people spend hours conversing over a meal at their local outdoor cafes.
Ah...what a lifestyle they must have in that beautiful place!
My white bean salad with Tuscan flair is inspired by that desire to enjoy something light, bright and refreshing under a sunny sky, and be whisked away to another place, even if just for a few moments.
Brimming with tender, pearl-like navy beans with their delicate texture and flavor, briny olives, sweet, juicy cherry tomatoes and fresh basil, my white bean salad recipe is absolutely perfect to scoop atop of garlic toast and enjoy with a little glass of chilled white wine.
Dressed in a light, lemon and olive oil dressing, it's the perfect little taste of Tuscany in salad form, and just the pleasure to enjoy al fresca!
My Recipe for White Bean Salad with Lemon Dressing
This cool white bean salad takes no time to prepare and have ready to enjoy by the bowlful, or to scoop up onto garlic toast as a delicious snack or appetizer.
Keeping things very simple, I use organic canned navy beans which I gently rinse and blot dry.
To the beans I add fresh, sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes, which I quarter, along with briny olives for a touch of savoriness.
These mouthwatering ingredients are gently tossed together with a light, bright lemon dressing made with olive oil, finely minced shallot, salt and pepper.
And then, everything is combined with a flourish of fragrant basil and pecorino cheese.
Here's a glance at my white bean salad recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get stared, I shake up my lemon dressing, and set that aside to have ready for my white bean salad.
- Next, I drain and rinse well a couple of organic cans of navy beans, and gently pat them dry.
- I add the beans to a large bowl, along with my my cherry tomatoes and olives, and gently toss these with some of my lemon dressing.
- To serve, I spoon the white bean salad into a serving bowl, finish with a sprinkle of basil and pecorino cheese, and serve with garlic-rubbed toasts.
White Bean Salad
by Ingrid Beer
This white bean salad with a Tuscan twist is brimming with olives, tomatoes, pecorino cheese, basil and a lemon dressing!
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 352 calories per serving
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
White Bean Salad Ingredients:
- 2 (15 ounce) cans organic navy beans, drained, thoroughly rinsed and blotted dry
- 1 ½ cups small cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ¼ cup (heaping) pitted castelvetrano olives, chopped
- ¼ cup (heaping) pitted black olives, chopped
- ¼ cup pecorino cheese, small chunks or shaved
- ¼ cup small basil leaves
Lemon Dressing Ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Pinch black pepper
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your lemon dressing ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To prepare the dressing, add all ingredients to a jar with a tight fitting lid, and vigorously shake the dressing for a few moments until completely combined. Set aside.
- Next, gather and prep all of your white bean salad ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To prepare the salad, add the white beans to a large bowl, followed by the quartered cherry tomatoes and olives, and drizzle in about ¾ of the dressing (add more as needed). Using a large spoon, very gently fold/combine, taking care not to break up the beans, just until well coated in the dressing.
- Add in half of the basil leaves and the pecorino cheese, and once again, gently fold those in just until incorporated.
- Spoon the white bean salad into a serving dish, top with the remainder of the basil leaves, and serve on its own or with garlic toast, or as an accompaniment to your favorite protein.
Tips & Tidbits for my White Bean Salad recipe:
- Keep it easy with organic, canned white beans: While you can certainly use dry white beans, soak them and then cook them. But to save on time here, I'm opting for good quality, canned organic navy beans. Canned beans are terrific for use in salad—once you give 'em a rinse and a gentle pat to dry, you're good to go. You could also use cannelini beans as a substitute.
- Prep ahead, and dress before serving: To keep things a little more juicy, add your dressing just before serving your white bean salad. You can prep the salad ahead and keep it cold in the fridge, and prep the dressing, then toss everything together before serving. (And if your leftovers need a little more “oomph”, because the beans have sucked up the dressing, add a drizzle of extra olive oil to loosen things up.)
- What to serve with white bean salad: This yummy salad makes a terrific accompaniment to grilled chicken, pork chops or lamb. You can serve it on its own, or with grilled or toasted bread (garlic-rubbed is delicious!) for a more substantial meal.