I love beans. I especially love heirloom beans! Rancho Gordo is a Napa Valley company that grows specialty types of beans in the U.S. and Mexico. I was lucky enough to end up with a pound of their ‘Marcella’ beans (a delicate type of the cannellini bean) after a friend recently visited their Napa store. Finding myself with a plethora of garden tomatoes this week, the idea of the combination of the two set me thinking. This bean, tomato and artichoke salad with a basil vinaigrette is my idea of a perfect summertime combination.
Heirloom Bean, Tomato & Artichoke Salad
1 6.5 oz jar of marinated artichoke hearts, cut in half
4 c heirloom beans (recipe below) or 3 (15 oz) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
6 green onions, chopped
1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
2 c tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces, all shapes and colors
1/2 c basil vinaigrette (see recipe below)
Toss everything together in a large bowl, chill or serve at room temp. For a more substantial light supper salad, add crumbled feta or goat cheese, grilled chicken, good quality canned tuna or cooked pasta!
2 T white balsamic vinegar (sub red or white wine vinegar)
3/4 c ex virgin olive oil
3 T water
1 t dijon mustard
1 clove garlic
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t freshly ground pepper
2 c fresh picked basil, coarsely chopped
Put everything but the basil in a blender and blend, immediately add the basil and blend for 30 seconds. Thin with a little water or oil if it seems too thick. This will keep in the fridge for a week. Drizzle over tomatoes, toss into salads or use as a sauce over grilled meats or fish.
White Beans (from scratch)
1 lb. dry heirloom beans - just about any type of bean will work
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1 small stalk celery, chopped
Rinse and sort the beans. Place in a pot and cover the beans and veggies by 2 inches with water and bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes and then turn down the heat to low and cook them slowly until they are soft enough to eat, 2 - 3 hours. Add salt to taste at the very end.
As a caterer for over 30 years, I have established a reputation for consistently creating original menus inspired by the occasion and the season, presenting them with an ease and elegance uniquely my own. Fresh, locally-sourced ingredients are the basis of my creative “from scratch” menus, which range from the classically elegant to rustic and whimsical.
"Love your recipes! Pat made your avocado toast a few weeks ago, delish! I'm taking them to a party in a few weeks, although the mushroom crostata looks pretty darn good!"