Tuscan Bean Salad

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Click To Enlarge Photo: Boyd Hagen

1 lb. dry cannellini (white kidney) beans
6 cups water
10 cloves garlic, halved
12 large fresh sage leaves
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
2 tsp. salt

For the dressing:
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
12 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced

6 servings

Sort through the beans, discarding debris, then rinse. Put them in a bowl, cover with 8 cups cold water, and let soak overnight.

Drain and rinse the beans. Put them in a large pot with 6 cups water, the garlic, sage, and pepper, but not the salt, which would toughen the beans if added at this point. Bring the pot to a boil, then lower heat and simmer gently, 50 to 55 min. About 40 min. into cooking, add the salt. When the beans are tender to the tooth, turn off the heat and let them sit while you make the dressing.

Combine the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, sage, and garlic. Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary. It should be very flavorful.

Drain the beans in a colander, reserving the liquid for another purpose. Put the beans in a bowl and immediately dress them with enough of the vinaigrette to coat them thoroughly. Toss gently and let them sit for at least half an hour. Just before serving, toss again.

Recipe by Ruth Lively
June 1997
from issue #9

posted in: herbs, beans, salad, side dish