Tomato and White Bean Salad

Tomato and white bean salad

Tomato and white bean salad

Spring has sprung. Although most of the country is still covered up with snow, the calender says that Spring is here. I know it has sprung here in Florida. Everything has a golden layer of pollen on it. Allergy season is here. Flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing, I’m sniffling and sneezing. Yup, it’s Spring.

To welcome the change in seasons, I made this light and refreshing salad. It’s been a particularly hot past couple of days and I wanted something easy. Something I could whip up and let chill in the fridge while I was out mowing the grass. That, is this bean and tomato salad. So, while I’m waiting for my allergy pills to kick in, I’ll teach you how to make it for yourselves.

White bean and tomato salad

Tomato and white bean salad

Here’s the fixings.

white bean and tomato salad

Let’s get started!

You’ll need 2 cans of cannellini beans, a pint of cherry type tomatoes, fresh basil, feta cheese, extra virgin olive oil, agave sweetener (or honey or any sweetener), some salt and pepper, and some white balsamic vinegar. If you don’t have any white balsamic vinegar, got ahead and get some. This stuff is so good. Sprinkle a little bit in with the yolk mix, the next time you make deviled eggs! You’ll be amazed at how good this stuff makes them. If you’re sure you don’t want to go out and buy the white balsamic vinegar, use a white wine vinegar, or rice vinegar. Stick with something clear. Regular balsamic vinegar will make the salad an unpleasant dark color. We don’t want that.

Start off by draining the cannellini beans. Rinse them off, if they have a lot of bean starch in the can.

drain beans

Drain the beans

While they drip dry, get out your cutting board. Time to cut the tomatoes in half.

halving the tomatoes

Slice the tomatoes in half

Get out a large bowl and dump the drained beans into it.

Bowl of beans

Put the beans into a bowl

Dump the tomato halves in there, too.

add the maters

Add the tomatoes

Measure out a half cup of feta cheese and dump it in also!

adding feta

Add in the feta

Stack up about 20 basil leaves, roll them up and slice them thinly. That’s called a chiffonade.  I learned this from the television cooking shows. They love to chiffonade things!

Chiffonade the basil

Chiffonade the basil

You know what’s next, don’t you? That’s right, add them to the bowl.

salad

Pretty colors!

Now, to make the dressing. You’ll need a small jar. I just reuse an old salad dressing jar. Measure out the white balsamic vinegar.

making dressing

White balsamic vinegar

Then, pour it into the jar. Measure out the extra virgin olive oil. Oh, do yourself a favor. Find one of these tiny measuring cups. They make measuring multiple table/teaspoons so much easier. They’re easy to find. I found this one at my grocery store.

evoo

EVOO!

Pour it into the dressing jar, too. Measure out the agave sweetener.

agave

agave syrup

Pour it into the dressing jar, too. Measure out the salt and pepper. I’m into Pink Himalayan salt right now. Why? It’s pretty to look at. That’s why. It’s supposed to have more minerals and be better for you than regular table salt, but, salt is salt, use it sparingly. Too much salt is a bad thing. I also use a four color peppercorn blend. It’s pretty, too.

salt and pepper

pretend this picture is in focus

Add it to the dressing jar. It makes a cool glop in the bottom. Hey, I’m easily amused!

dressing mix

See the salt & pepper glop?

Close it up and shake it up!

Dressing mix

Dressing mix

Pour the dressing over the tomato & bean mix.

dressing the salad

Mix in the dressing

Pour the salad into a pretty serving bowl. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

put into serving bowl

Put into a serving bowl.

This mix travels well, if you have a covered dish dinner to go to. To serve, place a few lettuce leaves on a plate and add about a cup of tomato bean salad mix over it.

tomato and white bean salad

Tomato and white bean salad

Tomato and White Bean Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A light and fresh salad. Perfect for lunch, brunch or a light dinner.
Ingredients
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 -15 ounce or 19 ounce cans of cannellini beans, drained
  • ¼ cup shredded fresh basil
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves. Place halves in a bowl. Add in the drained cannellini beans, basil and crumbled feta cheese.
  2. Pour vinegar and extra virgin olive oil into a small jar. Add in the salt and pepper. Cover and shake vigorously. Pour over bean and tomato mixture. Combine well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Arrange a few lettuce leaves on a plate. Top with ¾ cup of the tomato and white bean salad.

This tomato and white bean salad also pairs will with fresh cooked orzo pasta. That makes a tasty dinner.

 

 

Stuffed Portobello Caps

Portobello Caps stuffed

Stuffed Portobello Caps

We like mushrooms. They have a wonderful, earthy flavor and they give you something that you can bite into. Their versatility is neverending. Just think of how many different dishes you’ve made, that start out with a can of cream of mushroom soup! By they way, you can make your own, much more flavorful, mushroom soup. But, that’s a post for another time. One of my favorite breakfasts is a simple sauteed mushroom and egg white omelette. Yum! These stuffed caps are made with easy to find ingredients and are a snap to make. The ingredient list –

ingredients

The fixin’s

portobello mushroom caps, spinach, onion, roma tomato, goat cheese (for creamy yumminess), panko crumbs, red pepper flakes (for a little kick) and some herbes de provence. I like using herbs de provence. It makes me feel swanky. Next thing you know, I’ll be putting truffle oil on everything. If you don’t have herbes de provence, plain old italian seasoning mix will work just fine. You can still feel swanky, too. First thing to do, is to scrape the gills off the mushrooms. You don’t have to, but you can pile in more stuffing if they’re gone, so get them out of there.

removing stems and gills

Snap off the stems and scrape out the gills.

Snap the stems off, too. I don’t use them in the stuffing. Save them for making a vegetable stock. After the caps are clean, set them aside.

cleaned mushrooms

Clean mushrooms.

Now, dice up half an onion. You want about 1/2 a cup.

diced onion

choppity chop chop

Swirl about a tablespoon of olive oil into a large saute pan. Using a medium low heat, cook the onions til tender, about 2 to 3 minutes.

sauteed onion

cooking the onion

Add in the chopped spinach so it can wilt down.

satuee spinach

add the spinach to the pan

It will just take a couple of minutes for it to wilt.

wilted spinach

wilted spinach

Turn the heat off and set the pan to the side. Now, preheat your oven to 375º. Line a baking sheet with foil and set it by the mushroom caps. Time to make the stuffing. Give a roma tomato a rough dice.

roma tomato diced

diced roma tomato

I used a roma, because they are a meatier, less juicy, tomato. If you have to use a regular tomato, dice it, then, blot excess moisture up with a paper towel. Crumble the goat cheese into a medium sized bowl.

goat cheese

crumble with a fork

Combine with the diced tomato, panko crumbs, red pepper flakes and the herbes de provence. Add salt and pepper.

stuffing mix

Stuffing mix

Add in the spinach onion mixture.

stuffing mix

add the spinach onion mix

Mix it well.

mix it up

Combine well

Divide the mixture among the portobello caps.

stuffed caps

Stuff the caps.

Drizzle the caps with a little olive oil. This adds an extra layer of flavor!

oil drizzled caps

Drizzle caps with olive oil.

Bake for about 30 minutes. I roasted some carrots alongside of the mushrooms and served them both with a nice, creamy risotto. A delicious, easy dinner!

Stuffed Portobello Caps

Dinner is served!

Stuffed Portobello Caps

Stuffed Portobello Caps

Stuffed Portobello Caps
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Flavorful portobello caps, stuffed with a savory blend of spinach, tomatoes and goat cheese.
Ingredients
  • 4 portobello caps, stems and gills removed
  • 4 cups raw spinach, coarsely chopped and lightly packed
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 2 TBL olive oil - divided
  • 1 diced roma tomato
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • 1 tsp herbes de provence
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Saute the diced onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Add spinach to wilt, another 2 minutes. Place the goat cheese in a medium bowl. To it, add in the diced tomato, panko crumbs, red pepper flakes and herbes de provence. Pour the spinach and onion mix over the tomato cheese mixture and combine. Divide mixture among 4 portobello caps. Drizzle remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Place caps on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.