White Bean, Scallion & Tomato Salad
Category: Soups & Salads | Blog URL: http://www.samanthagianulis.com/2009/07/white-bean-tomato-and-scallion-salad.html
This recipe was entered in The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest, a compilation of the world’s best food blogs which was published in Fall 2010.
White Bean, Tomato and Scallion Salad is a perfect summer salad, effortlessly delivering complex carbohydrates (beans), vegetable (scallion/green onion), and fruit (tomato) requirements, while taking care of the heart (extra virgin olive oil) all in one delicious treat that you don't have to cook and can prepare in about five minutes.
In the summertime nine years ago my family drove from San Diego, California to the San Juan Islands, Washington in an RV. We weren't always sure what we would find at local markets or produce stands. But it was summer, tomatoes were abundant, and cannellini beans are on just about every store shelf.
The salad became a favorite, reminding me of enjoying it every night of our vacation; on the grass in Klamath, sitting on a beach in Mendocino after loading up sand pails with sea glass, or eating leftovers of it while near the sand dunes in Oregon (and finding cans of white beans in a gas station convenience store near where they filmed The Goonies).
But I had to play with this salad. Variations were improvised over the years, all of the ingredients listed below PLUS:
1) Instead of parsley, I've added lemon zest and a chiffonade of lemon basil, and added some goat cheese crumbles at the end.
2) I have also substituted rosemary for the parsley and added red onion instead of green onion, and tossed in some boiled, diced red potatoes.
3) Finally, I have used cilantro (omitting the parsley) and substituted roasted, chopped yellow and red peppers for the tomatoes (and sometimes used peppers and tomatoes), and considered using fire-roasted jalapenos, but didn't have any on hand (shame on me).
4) My next variation will be Greek; mint and parsley together, plus sliced Kalamata olives and feta cheese crumbles. I'll let you know how it goes.
We've never gone unfulfilled at dinner time with these staples and ingredients available or on hand. I suppose this salad would be a complete meal with seared tuna, grilled shrimp or pulled, roasted chicken added to it.
This salad could function as an appetizer too, served on top of toasted bread smeared with buttery, roasted garlic as a bed for the beans and tomatoes.
Then for lunch the next day, this salad plus your protein of choice could conveniently be wrapped all in a tortilla - all that fiber in the beans, and the silky gravy created by the tomato and olive oil running down your fingers...good stuff.
I just will never, ever believe that fast food need be the kind you get at a drive-up window. Healthy food can be enticing, flavor doesn't have to take all day.
This salad is just waiting in your kitchen, in different parts, wanting to be assembled in a satisfying, yummy repast that can be made in less time than it took you to read this.