Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cannellini Bean Salad with Feta & Fresh Herbs

Want a healthful and delicious alternative to high fat, mayonnaise-laced potato and pasta salads this summer? Try my white bean salad at your next cookout. It goes great with poultry, seafood, or meat. Serve it with grilled vegetables and you have a delicious and nutritious vegetarian meal. One serving is only 207 calories, just 2 grams of fat (1 cup of potato salad has about 20 grams), 13 grams of protein, and 9 grams of dietary fiber. How about that? It's really easy to make, too.

Cannellini Bean Salad with Feta & Fresh Herbs

For the vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
6 ounces olive oil & canola oil blend
1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper, or to taste

For the salad:
2 cans cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
2 slices red onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves (curly or flat)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
2 ounces feta cheese, diced (reduced fat is great if you can find it)

-Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.
-In a medium bowl, add the beans and red onion.
-Combine the herbs in one pile on your cutting board and, with a very sharp knife, chop them all together until they're all minced about the same size, 1/4 inch or so. (If your knife is dull, your herbs will look like what you pull out from under your lawn mower, and that's not very appealing.) Add the herbs to the beans and toss together.
-Give the vinaigrette a stir and pour onto the salad. Mix well to combine. Adjust seasoning. (That means add more salt and pepper to suit your taste!)
Make this recipe the day before up to this point for maximum flavor, cover and refrigerate, then bring to room temperature before continuing.
-Right before serving, gently fold in the feta cheese and tomatoes.
-Serve this salad at room temperature for ultimate flavor. Enjoy!

Serves 8

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