One of my favorite dishes to make for myself and for clients, this Sun Dried Tomato & White Bean Salad is perfect stashed in the fridge for healthful & nourishing lunches & dinners all week…it’s one of those “longer it sits, better it gets” situations. This bean salad is also incredibly easy to make, as well as naturally vegan and gluten-free (meaning that I didn’t necessarily intend for it to be, it just turned out that way).
Packed with flavor, protein, fiber and nutrients, this is a client-favorite that I make regularly. Easily make it a balanced meal by adding fresh greens, cheese (like feta or fresh mozz), toasted nuts, cooked whole grains and/or a protein of choice (grilled chicken, steak or tempeh, for example). I also imagine this as a perfectly packable picnic dish (for when summer finally arrives) and a great side dish for casual get-togethers. This is pretty much an all-star dish for your recipe arsenal. Whether or not you eat meat, dairy or gluten – my white bean & sun dried tomato salad is a healthful and nourishing crowd pleaser – you’re welcome!
Beans are high in fiber and protein, and add essential substance and texture to any dish – pretty much a meat-free eater’s very best friend!
Sun dried tomatoes pack a vitamin-a and -c punch, as well as providing iron and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant know to fight cancer. Sun dried tomatoes also add depth and “umami” flavor to dishes without using meat or dairy.
Lemon juice is known for it’s vitamin-c content, detoxification abilities and aiding in digestion.
Sun Dried Tomato & White Bean Salad
Servings: 6-8 Active Time: 15 minutes
1 lb dry white beans, soaked & cooked until tender* (see notes for tips & a canned bean substitution)
sea salt, fine grain
2 tablespoons olive oil + more to taste
3 shallots, minced (approx. 3/4 cup)
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup roughly chopped oil-packed sun dried tomatoes (tomatoes only, reserve oil) – like these from Whole Foods, 1 jar is perfect for 1 lb of dry beans
1/2 cup reserved sun dried tomato oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbs red wine vinegar (not a fan of vinegar? add extra lemon juice)
Hot- or cold-soak the beans in salted water. Cook to desired consistency. See notes for my exact soaking/cooking process I used for this recipe.
In a small skillet, heat a couple tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Add shallot and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add minced garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, being careful not to burn. Remove from heat.
Combine cooked beans, shallot/garlic mixture, chopped sun dried tomatoes, sun dried tomato oil, 1/3 cup lemon juice and vinegar (if using). To taste, add salt (1/2 teaspoon is a good start).
Refrigerate beans salad until chilled. You can also add more lemon juice and olive oil to taste, if desired. More olive oil & lemon juice will add more moisture. I don’t find it needs any necessarily, but depends on your taste. Also, there’s nothing wrong with eating right away, without chilling.
* My Go-To Hot Soaking Method
Add dry beans to a medium-large pot. Cover with cold water, about 2-3 inches above beans. Add 1.5 to 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to boil, boil for 2 minutes, shut off heat, cover pot with lid, allow to sit for 45-60 minutes. I soaked for 55 minutes.
After soaking, drain beans. Return to pot. Cover beans by 1-2 inches of fresh, cold water. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, partially cover and cook for 25-40 minutes or until tender. I cooked for 30 minutes. Drain.
* Other Notes on Beans
I learned in culinary school that beans should be “al dente” for bean salads like this one – however, I like when the beans are soft and just beginning to break apart, so that’s what I look for when cooking – cook to whatever texture you prefer
If using canned beans, use four 14-oz cans white beans such as cannellini or great northern, drained & rinsed