Tuscany-Style Bean Salad - ABC 8NEWS - WRIC | Richmond, Virginia News & Weather

Tuscany-Style Bean Salad

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      TUSCANY-STYLE BEAN SALAD
 4 to 6 servings

 Tuscan bean salad is very common on antipasto menus and tables in Tuscany.   The flavors are very Tuscan and the salad may be served at room temperature or chilled.   Traditionally dried beans would be used and cooked for hours for this recipe, but most people don't want the extra time of preparation today.

 

  • 2 (14 to 16-ounce) cans cannelloni beans or other white beans, drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced or coarsely chopped fresh fennel root
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes inn olive oil with herbs, well drained
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped peeled red or white onion
  • ½ cup chopped Italian parsley (no stems)
  • 1/3 cup finely snipped fresh fennel weed (no stems)
  • Several drops balsamic vinegar or as desired
  • Olive oil with herbs from sun-dried tomatoes as desired
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup pine nuts for garnish
  • Very thin slices baguette bread, toasted (optional)

 

In a medium bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients.  Add balsamic vinegar, and toss lightly but gently to mix but not break-up beans.  Drizzle desired amount of olive oil over bean mixture and toss again to mix.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish top of salad or each serving with pine nuts just before serving.  May serve at room temperature or chilled, as desired.  May accompany with toasted thin slices of baguette bread, if desired.  

Variations: Garnish salad mixture with freshly grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese.                    

                     Add 3 ounces coarsely chopped proscuitto or salami of choice to salad mixture. 

                     Add shredded provolone cheese to salad mixture.  

                     Add ½ cup finely snipped fresh basil leaves (no stems) to salad.

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