I was getting ready to make a warm salad to accompany the localvore pasta dinner, picturing some wilted greens, tomatoes, slivered garlic, and white beans.
Because it’s cheaper and you get better results using dried beans, I had gotten out my crockpot and cooked a pound and a half of them for a couple of hours on the “high” setting.
Then I steamed the greens, shocked them with a quick plunge in cold water, and chopped them fine.
Then a neighbor showed up with a basket of peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and yellow summer squash and asked if I could use those. As the guest list kept growing and I was getting nervous about quantities, I gladly accepted.
I realized I had to do the easiest, quickest thing possible with these late-arriving friends. Roasting was perfect. Wash, chop into a large dice, toss with oil and salt & pepper, cook, and it’s ready to be tossed together, which was just what I did with all my prepped ingredients.
I hear that it was terrific. Except for my check-for-seasoning nibble, I never got to have any.
White Bean Salad with Tomatoes, Steamed Greens and Roasted Summer Vegetables
8 – 10 servings
- l lb. dried cannelini or great northern beans, cooked in a crockpot until just tender, or substitute 4 14-oz. canned beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 lbs. (a.k.a. “a whole mess of) greens of your choice (I used lacinata kale, rainbow chard, and beet greens)
- 3 large tomatoes, diced
- 2 large or 3 small eggplants
- 4 zucchini and/or summer squash
- 4 peppers (we had green bell pepper and Hungarian wax)
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- ~ 3/4 c. olive oil
- 1/4 c. lemon juice (you could use your favorite vinegar instead)
- ~ 1/4 c. fresh herbs – I used flatleaf parsley and basil, chopped
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400. Oil 2 baking sheets and set aside.
- Place the beans in a large bowl and set aside.
- Roast the eggplant, zucchini, squash and peppers by cleaning well, then dicing into a fairly large dice – like 1 1/2″. Toss with a generous amount of olive oil – you want it glistening – and season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on baking sheets, and roast for 25 – 30 minutes, until tender and browned, turning halfway through cooking. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Rinse the greens very well. With the rainy season we’ve been having, they seem especially gritty/dirty this year. My favorite method for chopping them is to place them inside the large colander-like insert for my pasta pot and go to town with a pair of kitchen scissors. Then I give them a second plunge to remove any dirt I missed the first time. Steam them for 3 or 4 minutes, until just wilted. Have a large bowl of cold, cold water ready to place the colander in (or just dump them in if you don’t have one of these pots), then remove from water and drain very well.
- Place 2 T. olive oil in a small skillet and cook just to the point of fragrance (i.e., when you can smell a nice warm garlicky smell). Remove from heat.
- Add greens to beans and mix well to break up any clumps. Then mix in tomatoes, roasted vegetables, garlic and chopped herbs, using your hands or a wooden spoon. Add in about 1/3 c. olive oil, lemon juice, and salt (start with about 1/2 t.) and pepper. Taste for your preferences, adjusting as you go.
- Serve at room temperature. A great meal on its own, maybe with some feta crumbled on top, and a slice or two of good bread.