Italian White Bean Salad


Italian White bean salad is an excellent dish for a summer buffet.  It can be an accompaniment to cold grilled chicken , thin slices of a beef steak, or pork loin.

In Italy, these beans are paired with canned tuna ( an expensive tuna packed in oil) and served as a main course.  Simply chill both the beans and the tuna.

Italian White Bean Salad

Ingredients:

1 16-ounce package dried small white or navy beans

2 bay leaves

1 large onion,stuck with two whole cloves

3 cloves garlic, skinned and flattened

4 medium, ripe tomatoes, diced

1 cup of fresh parsley, chopped

Vinaigrette dressing ( see recipe below)

salt and pepper to taste

Whole lettuce leaves ( preferably butter or romaine)

Sliced tomatoes

Directions:

1.  RINSE THE BEANS IN COLD WATER.  PLACE THE BEANS, ONION STUCK WITH CLOVES. BAY LEAVES, GARLIC, AND PEPPERCORNS IN A 3- QUART SAUCEPAN AND COVER WITH 2 INCHES OF WATER.

2.  Bring to a rapid boil for 2 minutes.  Remove the mixture from the heat and let it stand 1 hour.

3.  Return the beans to the heat and bring them to a boil.   Reduce heat and let beans simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until they are tender but not mushy.

4.  Drain beans.  While they’r still hot, place them in a bowl with chopped tomatoes and parsley.  Add vinaigrette and mix well.  Cover and chill in refrigerator.  Just before servong, mix again.  Add additonal  vinaigrette if needed and salt and pepper to taste.

5.  Line a bowl with whole lettuce leaves.  Place bean salad on top of leaves and surround with thick slices of vine-ripened tomatoes.

    Serves   8 as a side dish

Vinagrette  recipe

Makes enough for a salad for 4 people

1/4 teaspoon of salt

a good gring of black pepper

2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

6 tablespoons of good quality olive oil

1 tablespoon of water

2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard

Using a small glass jar with a tight fitting lid, put all ingredients into the jar, put lid in place and shake vigorously. 

Yo customize the vinaigrette, add 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh herbs-thyme, sweet marjoram, chives, parsley, salad burne, summer savory or basil- to the mixture. 

A pressed clove of garlic can also be added, as well as a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice or balsamic  vinegar.   Note: if you add the lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, subtract an equal amount of vinegar from the recipe.

Vinaigrette  in a larger amount- 2 cups recipe

keeps in the frig for a week or so.

1 teaspoon salt

several grinds of black pepper

1/2 cup of red wine vinegar

1 1/2 cup of good quality olive oil

4 tablespons of water

2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard

 Commments are welcomed:

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