Tuscan White Bean Salad gives a dull salad routine a welcome kick of flavor.
This time of year, the majority of our meals are comprised of (or accented by) simple salads. When the weather is warm, a light plate full of greens and seasonal vegetables usually hits the spot. But even with a chef as a partner, I find myself falling into routines, making the same salad over and over again. Imagine my elation when Keith served up this special surprise the other day.
This Tuscan White Bean Salad with pancetta and sun-dried tomatoes was the instant cure for my salad doldrums, awakening my taste buds and satisfying my appetite for a light and easy summer meal. It is bursting with flavor, and has quickly become a dish that I crave day after day.
Keith started with fresh and peppery arugula, always a good choice for a salad base. He topped it with a beautiful mixture of sautéed pancetta, white beans and sun-dried tomatoes. He served it with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice and a bit of olive oil. It is so simple that even I can make it on my own, but the flavors are rich and complex. I love how the salty pancetta and sun-dried tomato plays off of the creaminess of the white beans and the kick of the arugula.
My salad habit has been given an upgrade, thanks once again to my favorite chef. This Tuscan White Bean Salad has put a skip in my step, and I find myself craving it for lunch and dinner, as side dish or as a meal in itself. Sometimes the best meals are the simplest ones, and this surely is proof of that.
Need more unique salad ideas to break the boring routine? Check out some of our other favorites: Grilled Shrimp Salad with Bourbon Vanilla Vinaigrette , Arugula & Beet Salad with Herbed Ricotta, Sweet & Tangy Blueberry Vinaigrette
- 2 C canned rinsed navy beans
- 6 oz chopped pancetta (can substitute bacon if needed)
- 4 oz olive oil (divided)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp black pepper
- juice from 1 lemon
- ½ C sun-dried tomatoes (julienned)
- 1 quart fresh arugula
- grated parmesan cheese
- Heat 2 ounces oil in medium sauté pan over medium-low heat.
- Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until garlic is soft.
- Remove garlic and discard. Now add pancetta and cook until slightly brown, about 5-6 minutes stirring often.
- Add beans along with red pepper and black pepper and ½ C water and cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, about 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in sun-dried tomatoes. Allow to cool to room temperature
- To assemble place arugula on plate and top with bean mixture and garnish with extra sun dried tomatoes.
- Drizzle remaining oil and juice from lemon on top.
- Sprinkle parmesan cheese over top.