This easy, bean salad is hearty enough to serve as a light meal or first course or as a tasty side to fish or meat. The salad is vegan, but I personally like to add a little crumbled feta and bacon pieces on top to add a few more calories : ) The dish is good both chilled or at room temperature so is perfect for barbecues and potlucks.
If you have time and plan ahead, using dried beans is great because when cooked just right, they are a little firmer than canned beans on the outside, but just mushy enough on the inside. Or use canned if you prefer. And don’t be afraid of the red onion (I don’t normally appreciate raw onions). By letting the dressed salad chill for 30 minutes, the vinaigrette slightly macerates the red onion, making them less strong.
White and Green Bean Salad
Active time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: about 45 minutes if using dried white beans
2 ½ cups (400g) dried white beans (Cannellini for example), or about 5 cups drained and rinsed canned white beans
10 ½ ounces (300 g) green beans or haricots verts, trimmed
1-pint (280 g/10 ounces) cherry tomatoes, cleaned and cut in half
1 cup cucumber, cut in 1/2-inch thick slices and quartered
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped parsley (or about 3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper
1/3 cup (80 ml) good olive oil
Optional: serve with crumbled feta or crumbled pieces of crispy bacon
If using dried beans, cook them according to the instructions. Mine need to be soaked for a good 10 hours and cooked in well salted, simmering water for about 40 minutes.
Add the green beans to a pot of salted, boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and run cold water over them or put them in an ice bath. Drain and dry them with a paper towel.
In a large serving bowl, add the cooked (or canned) white beans, green beans, cherry tomato
halves, quartered cucumber, sliced red onion and chopped parsley. Gently toss them together.
In a small bowl, whisk the mustard with the lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Add 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
Pour most of the vinaigrette over the vegetables and gently toss together. Taste for seasoning and add the rest of the vinaigrette if needed (I use all of it, but you might prefer the salad with less). Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving – the red onion will become slightly macerated. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
And bon appétit!