Mark and I fell in love with cannellini salad, and so we started paying attention to the versions we enjoyed the most. First came scribbles on napkins, followed by snapshots, and finally, we began experimenting with ratios at home.
Cannellini (kan-eh-LEE-nee) is Italian for “white bean.” They are ideal for this dish because they are creamy versus great northern, which are a bit more grainy. Sometimes we use canned beans when we don’t have time for the dried. Other times, we substitute a few ounces of dried beans with wheat berries. Who says a recipe has to stand still?
Cannellini Salad Recipe
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
||Add all to a 3-quart nonmetal bowl; brine at room temperature 8-12 hours. Gently drain off brining water.||Cold salt water can pit metal. Brining relaxes skins, reducing splitting during cooking, which produces an attractive salad.|
||In a covered slow cooker or a 3-quart tri-ply saucepan on high heat, bring water and brined beans to a boil (7-10 minutes). Add salt. Cover and promptly reduce heat to hold at a simmer until tender (~60 minutes). Drain, transfer back to the now-empty 3-quart bowl; cover while cooling.||Simmering minimizes texture-damaging turbulence. Adding salt after water is hot reduces metal pitting. Covering traps heat, promoting smooth bean texture.|
||Add all to the beans. For the parsley, use a sharp kitchen or garden shears for clean cuts. Gently toss and then ladle into a 1-quart canning jar.||A fine dice of onion adds texture and flavor without overpowering. Red tomatoes add attractive, contrasting color.|
||Whisk together in the now-empty bowl; pour over beans. Seal the jar and chill at least 2 hours before serving.||Acidic ingredients inhibit bean softening if added while they are cooking. Lemon and honey round out the flavor. Time allows the dressing to penetrate beans.|
||Toss well and serve. Finish with olive oil drizzled on top. For a delicious change of pace, serve over arugula.||Finishing with extra-virgin olive oil adds a fresh layer of flavor.|