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Tuscan White Bean Salad

A delicious summer salad with great flavors. Make it quick by buying a can of navy beans instead of dried. You’ll save lots of time (skip the first two steps entirely). It’d be even better with hunks of mozzarella instead of the cheap shredded kind, I’m sure.

Tuscan White Bean Salad

Tuscan White Bean Salad

Makes 6-8 servings. Recipe from Epicurious.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups dried navy beans, rinsed and picked over
1/4 cup olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cups firmly packed spinach, washed, drained, and stems removed
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup pitted black olives, such as kalamata or niçoise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Dressing:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
To quick-soak the beans: Place the beans in a large pot with water to cover by 3 inches and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 45 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain, and rinse.

To cook the beans: Place the beans in a large pot and add enough water to cover by 3 to 4 inches. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, uncovered, 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until beans are tender but still firm. Drain and rinse the beans thoroughly. Set aside to cool.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook and stir until slightly brown, about 5 minutes.

For dressing, combine the vinegar, garlic, mustard, and oregano in a small bowl. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream while whisking constantly until all the oil is incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.

Toss the beans, onion, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, and olives in a large bowl with the vinaigrette until just combined. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use or up to 1 day. If refrigerating, add the spinach just before serving.

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