There is nothing like summer tomato salads to give “fresh” a new meaning. You can choose just one bean or a mixture, which looks attractive, to mix with colorful heirloom tomatoes. If you don’t want to cook beans from scratch, then use rinsed canned beans instead but the best flavor and texture come from cooking the beans yourself. The ingredients are highly flexible so have fun with this.
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans (or one 15-ounce can)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans (or one 15-ounce can)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans or chickpeas (or one 15-ounce can)
- 3 tablespoons white wine or golden balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil plus extra for garnish
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 8-10 pitted Kalamata or cured black olives
- 1 1/2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes or tomatoes of any variety
- 1 cup seeded cucumber diced or cut into half moon shapes
- Combine the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and pour over the cooked beans. Let this mixture marinate for at least 25 minutes.
- After marinating, stir the chopped basil, oregano, parsley and olives into the beans. Then gently add the tomatoes and cucumber, and stir to combine. Or you can spoon the beans into a bowl and garnish with the tomatoes and cucumbers.
Note – When cooking dry beans:
Cook the presoaked beans in separate batches with thyme, savory or other herb sprigs until they are cooked through and still firm. This helps them retain their individual color. Marrow beans and kidney beans cook in an 1 hour or so on the stove top or about 6 minutes at pressure in the pressure cooker with a natural pressure release. Garbanzo beans take about 1 ½ hours on the stove top or 14 minutes in the pressure cooker. When the beans are cooked, drain the liquid and put the beans in a bowl. Lightly salt, to taste.