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White & Green Bean Salad with Tomatoes & Basil

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Serves six to eight.

Use the biggest white beans you can find. I like fat Emergo beans; they’re creamy and mellow, with a rich, nutty flavor.

  • 1 cup dried large white beans, such as Emergo or cannellini, well rinsed (soaked and drained, if you like)
  • Several sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut in half
  • 1 small carrot, cut into several pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 salt-packed anchovies, filleted (or 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets), rinsed, patted dry, and finely chopped
  • 3 Tbs. red-wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 lb. haricots verts or regular green beans, trimmed and cut into pieces if large
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

In a deep, heavy-based pot, cover the beans with 6 to 8 cups cold water. Add the thyme, garlic, onion, carrot, and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 90 minutes; let cool in the broth.

In a large bowl, combine the shallot, anchovies, vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until well combined. Drain the white beans and add them and the tomatoes to the bowl. Toss to coat the vegetables well with the dressing. Let stand at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours.

Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and spread on a paper towels to cool. When ready to serve, add the cooled green beans to the white beans and then the basil, tossing well after each addition. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

Make Ahead Tips

You can cook the white beans up to a day ahead of assembling the salad. Refrigerated the cooled beans in their broth. and bring to room temperature before assembling the salad.)

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings; Calories (kcal): 250; Fat (g): 14; Fat Calories (kcal): 130; Saturated Fat (g): 2; Protein (g): 8; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10; Carbohydrates (g): 24; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 160; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 7;

Photo: France Ruffenach

This salad is delicious - the anchovies in it are a really nice touch. I'm sure the method of cooking the beans with aromatics is great, but I have to confess that I made it to use up leftover canned white beans - and it was still great. Paired with crusty French bread for a nice light dinner.

Made this for a 40th b-day party/picnic with 60 guests. Kids didn't go near it (of course) but the adults all LOVED! Everyone wanted the recipe. Easy to make, great to look at and TASTY!!!!

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