Thursday, September 2, 2010

White Bean Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

School is back in session, and while that gives us moms a bit of extra time during the day, it also means that the evenings go that much faster.  Between school pick ups, homework, soccer, dance, surf and the occasional night out, there is not much time left for dinner.  Finding a recipe that is tasty, quick and healthy is always a treasure, something to be held on to and shared.  

White Bean Salad fits that bill.  Garden fresh ingredients tossed with a can of Cannellini Beans and a lemony vinaigrette give you a side salad in a matter of minutes, perfect for that night when time is running short.  The ingredients are easily interchanged based on what you have on hand making preparation a piece of cake.  The salad works well with any main meat, especially something hot off the grill or alternatively, paired with some fruit and a side of crusty bread it would make a wonderful light meal all on its own.

I have always avoided zesting lemons as my old zester is somewhat dull and more work than it was worth.  More pith than zest seemed to pile up on my plate, not really conducive to flavoring anything.  However, my newest kitchen gadget (I have a small addiction), a kitchen rasp, made zesting the lemon extraordinarily easy!  Within less than a minute the entire lemon was done and I had finely grated lemon zest on my board.  One more benefit to this lemony salad!

My recent visit to the Vista Farmer's Market provided gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, perfectly ripe avocados and farm fresh Maui Onions, all perfect ingredients for my short on time, summer salad.  With flavor bursting in every bite, this salad will shoot high on my list of repeats.  Luckily, we didn't finish the entire bowl last night and this busy mom had a perfect lunch.

White Bean Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette 

¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1½ Tbs Olive Oil
7 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, pressed
zest of one lemon, finely grated
1 tsp mustard
salt and pepper to taste

1 can Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup chopped tomato 
1 avocado, diced
½ sweet onion

In a small bowl mix the dressing ingredients together, whisk until well blended.

In a large bowl mix together the salad ingredients.  Add the dressing and toss lightly to coat evenly.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve! 

Note:  this is one of those salads where the ingredients may be change based on what you have on hand.  Fresh red pepper, red onions or cucumbers would be wonderful additions! 

I am submitting this post to Deb, at the Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday roundup!  Every Sunday she has a wonderful array of soups, salads and sides submitted from posts all around the world.  Be sure to check it out to see what shows up this Sunday!



  1. this is most certainly my kind of meal!! I can taste the freshness of this dish. MMM

  2. What a pretty and healthy salad! The lemon zest would give it such a nice zip.

  3. I made something very similar to this earlier this summer, so I can agree, it does taste wonderful! :)

  4. Looks so fresh and delicious!!

  5. Avocados in a bean salad is brilliant. That kitchen rasp sounds like a great tool.

  6. I love the colours of that salad :)

  7. Sometimes simple is best and this dish looks great! Love how quick it can come together and love the addition of lemon zest!

  8. I LOVE the dressing, just absolutely adore that! I am writing it down and using it this weekend! Thanks!

  9. The lemon vinaigrette is a wonderful combo!!! I'm going to use the can of leftover beans and the half can of artichoke hearts (some went on a salad earlier this week) and add them to some diced onion, cherry tomatoes and an avocado - and maybe add a can of tuna - then use the lemon vinaigrette. Thanks!! Kate @ kateiscooking

  10. Great combo--I'd love to try this. >>^..^<<

  11. Another top 9 for you, woot woot! I would love this. White beans are a little hard on my blood sugars but I'd definitely eat a scoop or two of this.

  12. Thanks Torvie and Sommer!

    Canuck, the zest really added to the salad!

    Cilantropist, I just checked yours and it looks great too! Love the addition of the dill!

    gourmand, thanks!

    Kristin, I'm loving the rasp! I have always seen them, but never knew how wonderful they are!

    Thanks Paula!

    Susi, the ease of this one was appealing to me!

    Ravie, I hope you like it too! I think the dressing will go will on so many things.

    Kate, Yeah!! that sounds wonderful! Hope you post it... I'll check it out!

    Katty, love the cat!

    Carolyn, Thanks!! Woo Hoo! We are pretty excited!!

  13. oh that salad looks amazing! Congrats on the top 9!

  14. Such a pretty, healthy and delicious looking salad, love the top photo with Hibiscus flower, congratulations on top 9:)

  15. This looks like a perfect summer salad-especially good for a vegetarian. I am bookmarking this and will take it for lunch at work! :)

  16. I love this salad--so healthy and flavorful with the lemony dressing. Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays. ;-)

  17. This is funny - I am working on a post about a black bean salad, my go-to when the weather is hot and I do not fell like fussing about side dishes.

    It is still unbelievable to me what a difference 10 miles can make, as far as weather is concerned. The other day, when the heat was unbearable, Husband took the kids to Laguna Beach while I was at work. They were miserable - it was foggy, breezy, kind of cold, gray - not even the gelato saved the day!

    So nice to meet another blogger from the area!

  18. This looks fabulous!! I will definitly make this!!

  19. This is exactly what I was looking for. I needed one more salad idea that would please a group of 100 women we are hosting at work in a couple weeks. This fits the bill for meat easters and vegetarians.
    Take Care

  20. Found this via Pinterest and made it today. Mmm!! So delicious! Added red pepper, cucumber and celery too :) Thanks for the inspiration!


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