Simple white bean salad with fresh herbs (gf + v)

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At my new place, I finally have a little outdoor space and can actually grow fresh herbs – so exciting! (I have grown fresh basil indoors in sunny windows in the past, but it’s not the same…) – so now I have a little potted basil plant as well as fresh parsley and thyme growing on my balcony, all which feature in this recipe. This is a quick and super tasty salad you can throw together in just a few minutes to complement any number of wonderful Mediterranean-themed meals. Definitely an upgrade from those soggy canned three-bean salads of yesteryear.

I try to always keep a can of cannelini (white kidney) beans in the pantry because they are so versatile and recipe-friendly. Though hearty and filling, their flavor is very mild and unassuming, but this salad is quite lively thanks to a variety of aromatic fresh herbs and a little bit of purple onion for bite. Serves 2-3, but can easily be scaled up for larger crowds. Can be made 1 day ahead and pre-chilled, and will keep 1-2 days in the fridge.

Dressing ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp agave nectar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper

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Salad ingredients:

  • 1 can of cannelini (white kidney beans)
  • 1/3 of a purple onion (or enough to make about 1/4 cup, chopped)
  • 1/2 of a large sweet bell pepper (yellow, orange, or red)
  • 5 large leaves of fresh basil
  • 4-5 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme

In a small mixing bowl, combine dressing ingredients and whisk together with a fork.

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Drain and rinse the beans (it helps remove the excess foamy starch) and place in a salad bowl. Finely mince the purple onion and the yellow bell pepper and add those too.

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Finely chop the basil leaves, mince the parsley, and pluck the fresh thyme leaves off their stems.

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Add all the fresh herbs to the salad, splash on the dressing, and mix until well combined. Serve chilled. Enjoy!

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