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White Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad

White Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad

White bean and cherry tomato salad with a dressing of rosemary infused olive oil, garlic, Parmesan, anchovies, and lemon.

Photography Credit:Elise Bauer

If you’ve ever grown cherry or plum tomatoes in your garden, you know how wonderfully prolific they can be in summer months. What to do with all those tomatoes?

We found this salad recipe years ago in Fine Cooking magazine (probably my favorite cooking magazine of all time).

The salad beautifully combines the sweetness of summer cherry tomatoes with white beans and parsley.

The secret sauce is the dressing, which includes garlic and rosemary infused olive oil, and a paste made of garlic, lemon, Parmesan and anchovies.

If you want a vegetarian option, omit the anchovies, if not, by all means include them. Or, if you don’t have access to anchovies, add a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce.

Want to make your beans from scratch? Here’s how to make them on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker.

White Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce cans of white beans, such as Great Northern or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pint cherry or plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped parsley

Dressing ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 3-inch sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 3 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped (omit for vegetarian option)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice

Method

1 Infuse rosemary in olive oil: Place the garlic and sprig of rosemary in the olive oil in a small saucepan. Heat the oil on medium until the rosemary begins to sizzle.

Remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 20 minutes, allowing the rosemary and garlic to infuse in the oil.

2 Make the dressing: Remove rosemary sprig from the oil, discard. Remove the garlic from the oil, reserving the oil.

Add the garlic, anchovies (omit for vegetarian option), Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a food processor or mini chopper. Pulse until smooth.

3 Mix dressing with beans: In a medium bowl, gently mix the garlic Parmesan lemon mixture in with the beans until the beans are well coated.

Let the beans sit for a few minutes so they absorb some of the dressing.

4 Gently mix in the reserved olive oil, tomatoes, and parsley.

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Now That I Know How To Cook Beans, I’m Making This Dish All The Time

Do you know Amiel Stanek? He used to edit this site right here, and he loves beans. Like, so much. They say you develop the personality traits of the people you spend a lot of time with, and after sitting about 10 feet away from him for two years, we both picked up certain things. I’d like to think Amiel learned about Instagram from me, and I definitely learned about beans from him.

Ya see, we weren’t a big bean household growing up. I’m not sure if it was because my dad loved the “magical fruit” phrase or what, but legumes were not a part of our daily diet. I used to tell my parents I was sad they never enrolled me in karate, and now I tell them I’m sad I didn’t discover the magic of beans until age 25.

So thank goodness for Amiel. He showed me how to zhuzh up canned beans, crisp chickpeas, and soak lima beans overnight. He taught me how to turn black beans into a flavorful soup showered with Fritos. He told me which bags to add to my Rancho Gordo order and how to save my bean cooking liquid for later use. Recently Amiel moved upstate, and there’s now a void in the shape of Amiel holding a bag of perfect cannellinis.

But then the August Simple Issue came out, and I flipped it open to a beautiful photo of big ol’ white beans and fat, juicy tomatoes in what Kelly Mariani, owner at Scribe Winery, calls Big Beans and Tomato Vinaigrette. I may have needed a lesson about beans, but I’m from New Jersey so I know about tomatoes. And I will use any excuse in August to eat them.

A weekday dinner party is that excuse. And because August heirlooms are gorgeous without any effort, and you can cook the beans the day before, the only thing you’re actually doing is blitzing a few things in a blender! Ready?

Assuming that you’ve made your beans the night before, you’ll drain them of their liquid (use it in place of water or stock in your next soup!), and put them in a big bowl. Then you’ll purée cherry tomatoes, and stir in garlic, vinegar, oil, and salt. After 15 minutes, you’ll pluck the garlic out. (This is to get the essence of garlic, without actually eating garlic.) Toss the vin and the beans together and spoon over sliced heirloom tomatoes that have been drizzled with salt, pepper, and oil. It’s not mandatory but it is aesthetically pleasing to slice up the heirlooms in random pieces for dramatic effect. Top the whole thing with some basil and red pepper flakes and you’re good to go!

I’m a bean lover for life now, and this recipe is one that’ll stick around in my repertoire every summer.


White Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad - Recipes

Soak shallots in vinegar for a minimum of an hour or overnight.

Whisk in the Dijon mustard. Gradually whisk in oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

Stir basil into the dressing.

Parboil green beans in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, until tender. Rinse under cold water.

Toss the beans with half the dressing. Toss the tomatoes with the remaining dressing.

Arrange for a colorful presentation

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Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad

This vegetarian rich salad can also be consumed as a main course, too. It’s a low-fat low-cal mildly sweet and sour mixture of boiled green beans, vinegar-soaked red onion, cherry tomatoes, and panko. We made it even more interesting by flavoring it with soy sauce and serving it drizzled with lime juice.


Cannellini Bean & Cherry Tomato Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 15.5-ounce can cannellini beans (or other white bean)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper

Instructions

Drain and rinse cannellini beans and set aside.

Wash cherry tomatoes and cut in half. Add to a bowl and sprinkle with about ½ teaspoon kosher salt.

In a small bowl, zest 1 lemon and squeeze in about 2 tablespoons of the juice. Mince garlic cloves and add to the bowl, along with more kosher salt (about ½ teaspoon) and cracked black pepper (about ¼ to ½ teaspoon).

Stir dressing components together and drizzle in olive oil while continuously whisking to bring the dressing together.

Roll up basil leaves and cut into small strips. Sprinkle onto the tomatoes and add the drained and rinsed beans to the bowl. Sprinkle in pine nuts and stir in dressing, until salad is well coated.

Serve immediately at room temperature for optimal flavor.

Notes

Salad will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, though I prefer it at room temperature. That’s when I think the flavors of the basil and tomato really shine best.


  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pinch kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 2 banana peppers
  • 2 cups cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ red onion, sliced into thin strips
  • ¼ pound hot Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Set an oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven's broiler.

Toss tomatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1 pinch salt together in a small roasting dish. Move tomatoes to 1 side of the dish and place banana peppers on the other side.

Broil in the preheated oven until tomatoes are charred and softened but still hold their shape, about 10 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to a large bowl and flip peppers.

Return to the oven and continue to broil peppers until charred and softened, about 5 minutes more.

Remove peppers from the oven and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes peel, remove seeds, and slice. Fold beans, onion, and peppers into tomatoes.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook chicken sausage in the hot oil until crisp and browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to tomato mixture and gently fold to combine. Finish with orange juice and cilantro and season with salt.


Cherry Tomato & White Bean Salad

This is a filling Summer salad with cherry tomatoes, white beans and Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE DRESSING:
  • ¼ cups Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 1 sprig Rosemary
  • ½ teaspoons Sea Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • ¼ cups Freshly Parsley, Chopped
  • _____
  • FOR THE SALAD:
  • 1 can (15 Oz.) White Beans
  • 3 cups Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
  • ¼ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese

Preparation

Combine olive oil and garlic in a small bowl. Add a sprig of rosemary and microwave for 1 minute. Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove rosemary sprig. Add remaining dressing ingredients to the bowl. Mix well.

In a medium bowl, mix dressing and white beans together. Add cherry tomatoes and Parmesan. Gently mix. Refrigerate and serve.


Dilled White Bean and Grape Tomato Salad

Toss all ingredients in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Let marinate at room temperature 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring salad to room temperature before serving.

How would you rate Dilled White Bean and Grape Tomato Salad?

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Shake dressing in a jar – it’s the best way to really meld the lemon and oil together to create a thick, glossy dressing

Cook beans to your taste (I like mine tender crisp)

Then toss with dressing, tomato and onion, then garnish with feta last (if you toss salad with it, it looks messy).

And that’s all there is to it!

Serve this on the side of a simple juicy Baked Chicken Breast, a buttery Roast Chicken, with a juicy Pork Tenderloin with Honey Garlic Sauce or with a 5 minute crispy Pan Fried Fish.

Add it to your work lunch boxes, or make a big batch on Sunday and serve it through the week! – Nagi x