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.
Here’s the fixings.
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.
While they drip dry, get out your cutting board. Time to cut the tomatoes in half.
Get out a large bowl and dump the drained beans into it.
Dump the tomato halves in there, too.
Measure out a half cup of feta cheese and dump it in also!
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!
You know what’s next, don’t you? That’s right, add them to the bowl.
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.
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.
Pour it into the dressing jar, too. Measure out the agave sweetener.
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.
Add it to the dressing jar. It makes a cool glop in the bottom. Hey, I’m easily amused!
Close it up and shake it up!
Pour the dressing over the tomato & bean mix.
Pour the salad into a pretty serving bowl. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
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.
- 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
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves. Place halves in a bowl. Add in the drained cannellini beans, basil and crumbled feta cheese.
- 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.
- 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.