Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer White Bean Salad with Vegetables, Basil, and Parmesan

I love reading food blogs that draw their inspiration from the local and fresh ingredients of the day at the farmer's market or gardens.  Unfortunately I don't have the time the time to shop often at farmer's markets and I am terrible with plants.  I tried growing herbs recently on my tiny less than 6-inch balcony/sill and quickly killed them off.  I'm quite lethal with plants.  So my shopping experiences are pretty much limited to random grocery stores and Trader Joe's.  So when I saw the fresh yellow and green zucchini at my last Trader Joe's trip, I thought it would be nice to do a veggie heavy summer salad.  It's too hot to turn on the stove or oven!  This was a perfect refreshing salad and it's a nice vegetarian option to include in my rotation this summer.

So let's just pretend like I got my inspiration while digging up some fresh zucchini from my lovely garden or while slowly strolling down the neighborhood farmer's market in a cute summer dress, and not while rummaging through the Trader Joe's vegetable shelves in my pug fur-covered sweatshorts (yeah that's right, I said sweatshorts).

Servings: 4, but if you're going back for seconds and this is your main dish then more like 2.

2 15-ounce cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 small zucchinis, halved lengthwise and then sliced into half moons
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup green beans (or haricot verts), trimmed and thinly sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped
1/2-2/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (depends on how cheesy you want it)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 lemons, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large bowl mix together 2 cans of cannelini beans, 2 chopped zucchinis, 2 cups grape tomatoes, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1 cup chopped green beans, 1 cup chopped basil, 1/2-2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon zest, and the juice from 2 lemons.  
    • If you want to cut back on the bite of raw onions, try soaking the cut onion pieces in cold water for at least 10 minutes.
    • Small zucchini are sweeter than large ones as the seeds from large ones greater than 10-12 inches take on a bitter flavor.
  • Season with coarse salt and cracked pepper to taste.
I added a teeny bit of leftover chopped red bell pepper here too but you can't even see it.  Next time I might try adding more to add some more.
Sunny and Rosy are getting pretty good at sitting in the right spot for my photos!  They know they get treats if they pose well!
Adapted from Martha Stewart.

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