Do you like white beans? Along with all different kinds of beans, we love them! In the United States, white beans are most often associated with navy beans, and a popular soup called “navy bean soup’, made with the small white soft beans. But did you know that cannellini beans are related to kidney beans, and are often called white kidney beans? The same firm texture and mild flavor as the more popular red kidney bean, appears in cannellini beans, too.

If the two of us were in Tuscany, a region in central Italy around Florence, we would be called “mangifagioli” or bean eaters. The white bean salad recipe below is called, Fagioli Toscanelli in Italian – certainly a much more exciting name than “white bean salad”.

This luscious and easy salad combines basil and parsley, two herbs that often express the flavor of Italy. Basil is our featured herb this week, and since you probably still have some in your garden, it’s a perfect dish for this time of year! Basil has been shown to provide protection against unwanted bacterial growth in the body. It also unique array of active constituents called flavonoids found to protect cells. This salad is a win-win, enjoy!

White Bean Salad – Basil

2 Cans (15 Oz) Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained

1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 TBS Lemon Juice

1 TB Lemon Zest

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper To Taste

2 Green Onions, Thinly Sliced

¼ Cup Chopped Parsley or Basil or combination

1 Cup Grape Tomatoes, Quartered

1 Roasted Red Pepper, Chopped

Heat the beans in the microwave or on the stovetop. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, zest, salt, and pepper and pour over the drained beans. Add the green onion, herbs, tomatoes and pepper and toss. Let sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to absorb. Serve at room temperature.

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