Bean salads are an essential part of any recipe file and are great for summer picnic salads since they are often dressed with dairy-free vinaigrettes. I like to mix up my own vinaigrettes, usually tasting and estimating until I get a flavor I like. In his new book, Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, Michael Ruhlman explains how to use ratios to create everyday dishes. The standard ratio for vinaigrettes is three parts oil to one part acid, though it can vary depending on whether you choose a citrus juice or vinegar. Citrus juices tend to be very acidic and need some extra oil to balance the flavor, but generally vinegars work well with this three to one ratio. For this vinaigrette, I used one part white balsamic vinegar to three parts extra virgin olive oil.
Some of the herbs in our garden have gone to flower, looking rather scraggly and in need of pruning, and I used some of the trimmings in this salad. Parsley is a biennial, flowering in its second year, and the leaves often turn bitter after that, so it’s time for me to plant some more parsley.
This is my contribution to Grow Your Own, a blogging event that celebrates the dishes we create from foods we've grown, raised, foraged, or hunted ourselves. Zora of Gardenopolis is our host for this round, so be sure to visit her blog for more information about submitting your post. Summer is here and we’re back to doing Grow Your Own twice a month, so posts are due to Zora by June 15. If you are new to the event, you can read more about the rules for participating at the Grow Your Own page.
Cannellini Bean Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette
- small bowl or cruet
- medium bowl
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 6 ounces extra virgin olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 30 ounces canned cannellini beans (drained and rinsed well)
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme
- 2 thin slices red onion (cut in half)
- 2 ounces feta cheese (crumbled)
- Whisk together the white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, black pepper, and sea salt.
- Toss the beans and vinaigrette in the medium bowl, then add the parsley, oregano, lemon thyme, onion slices, and feta cheese. Serve immediately or chill an hour or two before serving.
- Use dry beans: Rinse 1 cup dry beans until clean. Cover with water and soak overnight. Drain, then add fresh water to cover. Cook over medium heat until the beans are tender, 1 to 2 hours. Drain and cool.
- Add fresh halved cherry or grape tomatoes when in season.
The Big Book of Herbs, by Arthur O. Tucker and Thomas Debaggio
Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, by Michael Ruhlman