Plated + Served: Italian White Bean Salad

July20

Yesterday I said that beef-loving Mama is going to do her part for the environment (and her waistline) by eating less meat… so here we go!

Wait a sec… the smell of grilling burgers is wafting over the fence. This is going to be tougher than I thought.

As my friend Sammy always says… Focus, people, focus!

Tonight’s protein player is cannellini beans. I love these small, white kidney-shaped bits of joy because they have a wonderfully subtle nutty, earthy flavor. I know you’ve seen cannellini beans before because they usually show up in minestrone soup or in those 10-bean salads which invariably grace the table of a potluck dinner.

Cannellini beans are a lot like Great Northern beans, but with a much thinner skin (reminds me of some people I know). Their texture is creamy, but they hold their shape really well (if you don’t cook them too long!).

I didn’t use canned beans with this recipe because my pal, LK, sent me a gift box of Rancho Gordo beans for my birthday. I’ll be honest with you, I would have just gone to my local supermarket and bought some dried cannellini beans, but after cooking up a batch of these, I’m hooked.

A lot of people think you have to soak beans overnight. You don’t. Soaking does speed up the process, but only marginally. If you use a pressure cooker, beans cook up really fast… like 30 minutes fast… so be carefully or they’ll turn to mush. Cooking them on top of the stove is as easy as 1-2-3:
1. Place the washed and cleaned beans in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam.
2. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the beans are tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
3. Drain. Cool. You’re ready to go.

Beans are low in fat and loaded with nutrients so you can’t go wrong… now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to hook up a fan to my fence and push that burger aroma in another direction!

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Plated + Served: Italian White Bean Salad

    1. Mama Post author

      Glad you liked it! And remember… you can really use any kind of beans. Black beans are particularly delicious!

      Reply
  1. Sam J. Ciulla

    ABBONDANZA…. MAMA !!!

    FOCUS BABY FOCUS… THANKS FOR THE MENTION, SHOULD SHARE SOME FAMILY RECIPES !!!

    BTW, DID YOU SEE THE BIG ARTCLE IN THE TRIB LAST WEEK ABOUT MY FAMILY’S PRODUCE BUSINESS… TESTA PRODUCE, INC. VERY INTERESTING, I SHOULD HOOK YOU UP!
    S

    Reply

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Hi…
I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: mama@mamashighstrung.com.