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Lightening It Up With White Bean Salad

White Bean Salad Recipe

With the holidays almost here overindulging is a certainty for me. Creamy buttery mashed potatoes with Madeira gravy, Italian sausage dressing, turkey skin… my favorite part of the bird, and that’s really just a glimpse of the gluttony I fall prey to. After a couple of days of this sin, I need a break. Something lighter and healthier starts to sound really appealing. Something like White Bean Salad.

High in protein and low in fat, white beans are the perfect size, shape and texture to mix with vegetables and greens to create a delicious and satisfying meal or side dish. The bean salad keeps well and can be eaten cold or warm temperature, and best of all it’s easy and you can add pretty much any raw vegetables that appeal to you.

I like to start with cooked and then chilled northern white beans or navy beans (pictured here) and add a mixture of diced green pepper and celery along with quartered grape tomatoes. Throw in some shredded carrot and shallot that have macerated in champagne vinegar and drizzle with some avocado oil to create a light, flavorful dressing. Finish with chopped Italian parsley and fresh basil to brighten the salad, season, and allow to sit in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight to really allow the flavors to develop. I love the texture of the beans with the vegetables and how the basil peeks through here and there once the salad has sat for awhile.

So refreshing, so easy and so nice to have something healthy to grab from the refrigerator!

White Bean Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of Northern white beans or navy beans
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 large carrots (or 3 medium)
  • ¾ to 1 cup of Champagne vinegar (sherry or wine vinegar may also be used)
  • 2 green peppers
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes
  • ½ bunch of Italian parsley
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup of Avocado oil (or oil of your choice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Presoak beans and then cook beans according to package instructions adding salt to water during the cooking process so they absorb it and have flavor. Chill beans before preparing and adding your vegetables so the heat from the beans does not cook the vegetables.
  2. Fine dice the shallot
  3. Grate peeled carrots using the large holes of a box grater
  4. Place the diced shallot and grated carrot together in a bowl and cover with Champagne vinegar. Allow to macerate while you prepare your other vegetables for a minimum of 20 minutes. You may allow these to macerate while the beans chill down to make sure the carrots absorb the vinegar.
  5. Remove core, seeds and white ribs of the green pepper and dice it.
  6. Dice the celery
  7. Quarter the grape tomatoes
  8. Chop the Italian parsley
  9. Chiffonade the basil leaves
  10. Add the green pepper, celery, parsley and basil to the beans
  11. Pull the carrot and shallots from the Champagne vinegar and add them to the beans and other vegetables. Add about a tablespoon of the vinegar to your salad. The remaining vinegar may be reserved and used to macerate more vegetables and kept in the refrigerator. I love keeping macerated shallots on hand for quick vinaigrettes.
  12. Drizzle bean salad with avocado oil, season, and toss together.
  13. Adjust seasoning to taste and refrigerate. Serve chilled or room temperature.
Dana Wilde grew up playing “sous chef” for her father as he churned out one amazing meal after the next for family and friends. She inherited her father’s life long passion for cooking and has spent the past two decades studying, reading, practicing, experimenting, and creating in the kitchen.
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