Summertime means salad days. So why not have a quick main-course salad for dinner?
We particularly like to mix white beans (garbanzos are good too) with big handfuls of fresh greens. Add a flavorful vinaigrette, and your dinner prep is done.
Time to eat!
It’s convenient to use canned beans for this dish (they’re a pantry staple for us). But if you have cooked dried beans on hand, they’d be wonderful in this dish.
Use the highest quality extra-virgin olive oil you have for this recipe – it does make a difference. And if you don’t want to use lemon juice, use a high-quality wine vinegar.
Prep time for this dish is about 10 minutes.
We most often serve this salad as a main course for two. But it can also be a starter or side for four.
For the vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- zest of ½ lemon (optional, but recommended)
- kosher salt to taste (several big pinches for us; see Notes)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste (about half a dozen grinds for us)
- ~1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional; see Notes)
For the salad:
- 15-ounce can of white beans, drained and rinsed
- ~5 cups fresh greens, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 5 ounces; we like a mix of arugula and spinach, but see Notes)
- ~½ cup red onion, thinly sliced or diced (optional, but onion adds a lot of flavor and color)
- Make the vinaigrette: Add all the vinaigrette ingredients to a small lidded jar, then shake vigorously to combine. Taste, then adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Add the beans to a mixing bowl. Add the vinaigrette. Mix briefly.
- Add the greens and the red onion (if using). Mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly coated with vinaigrette.
- Taste, add more seasoning if necessary, and serve.
- We often add a handful of cherry tomatoes to the salad mix (we cut them into halves or quarters). Diced cucumbers are also a good addition.
- You can add Dijon mustard to the vinaigrette or leave it out – it’s good both ways. Though mustard definitely adds some zip.
- Don’t want to shake the vinaigrette in a lidded jar? Just place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- We sometimes add an extra tablespoon of olive oil when we make this vinaigrette (for a 3:2 ratio).
- Or just use any vinaigrette recipe that you fancy.
- We always toss the beans with the vinaigrette first in order to thoroughly coat them with the vinaigrette. Then we add the greens and red onions. But you could probably add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl at the same time, then toss thoroughly.
- We often make this dish with an arugula-and-spinach mix we buy at the supermarket. Sometimes we use just one green or the other. We may even substitute lettuce (we prefer Bibb in this dish). Whatever greens you use, just make sure to tear (or cut) them into bite-sized pieces.
- We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If you’re using table salt, start with about half the amount we recommend. But always season to your taste, not ours.
“Yum,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Beans and greens are a classic combo.”
“This salad was meant to bean!” I said.
“Was that a joke?” said Mrs K R. “Or maybe you’re just talking with your mouth full again?”
“Lettuce us romaine calm,” I said. “Maybe I can turn over a new leaf.”
“Your humor is becoming a problem,” said Mrs K R. “That needs a dressing.”
Hope that doesn’t mean I’m a has bean.
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I love a summertime salad meal. This would be perfect for a porch dinner!
Hi Anne, summer really is salad season. Your porch awaits this. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This looks like a Master Recipe that you could extend to be all kinds of classics. Like add a can of tuna or some hot peppers or some roasted peppers or some cheese and probably a lot of others. All would be wonderful.
best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com
Hi Mae, you're right -- you can riff on this recipe almost endlessly. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Love creamy white beans! It's awesome to pair them with any seasonal greens for a satisfying and delicious lunch.
Hi Angie, beans and greens can't be beat! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I am a firm believer that simple is best. Your salad is proof. As always, thanks for sharing.
Hi Velva, we do know simple. Fitting, I guess. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Perfect for a quick, yummy lunch. Had to giggle at lettuce remain calm....ha!
Hi Liz, :-) This is such a nice, light dish. Thanks for the comment.
How lovely! This is a sensational dish and the idea of mixing the vinaigrette with the beans first is brilliant. Just wonderful.
Hi Merryn, we really like this -- beans and greens (and vinaigrette!) play so well together. :-) Thanks for the comment.
great summer time salad. The beans make it filling enough for a full meal.
Hi Dahn, this is enough for us for dinner. Maybe a bit on the light side, but we need that. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Yum! I love using lemon juice in my vinaigrettes. The perfect summer salad!
Hi Laura, lemon juice is wonderful in vinaigrette, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.
What a satisfying salad! I bet it will make a good meal on its own.
Hi Holly, we like this for dinner. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Healthy, filling, and so tasty. My kind of salad.
Hi Pam, ours too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
You'er right - perfect for a hot summer day. Easy salad and I love the tangy and tasty dressing. Light, and again, so simple.
Hi MJ, light definitely works at this time of the year. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This salad sounds delicious. I like the use of arugula which is kind of bite-y with the spinach. also the addition of beans and red onion sound amazing, not to mention how healthy all of the ingredients are for antioxidants, fiber, and nutrients. Great salad
Hi Judee, it's really, really good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Well, we are freezing ! With hundred-year records being broken . . . no, that does not mean I won't copy your delicious-looking salad ! You may be reading we in Australia cannot have 'normal' McDonald's burgers at the moment, the lettuce being substituted with cabbage . . . but then I do not normally indulge in chain burgers . . . oh, had you heard climatic difficulties have made each leaf lettuce here cost $A11 :) !!! Enough 'fresh greens' available to say 'thank you' !!!
Hi Eha, yeah, I fear you'll need to wait a bit before you can eat this. Worth the wait, though. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Love your puns! and this salad looks great. We do eat a lot of chickpeas (garbanzos) so I'd add those.
Perfect Summer lunch or dinner.
Cool Beans! We cannot compete with your fun puns but we would certainly love to sit down with a plate of this hearty salad in front of us. Take Care
Hi Sherry, this is great with chickpeas! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Lea Ann, we think so! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Bobbi, this is so good and SO healthy -- right up your alley. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I could eat this every day. I so love white beans, and I’ve discovered some great ones in large jars. They’re magnificent. Lupini and Navarrico.
Hi Mimi, I'll have to look those up! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Yum, this looks like a nice starchy salad. I could probably eat just the beans by themselves (but that would be naughty)!
Hi Fran, naughty, but nice. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Love the arugula and spinach with the beans, John. Such an easy and tasty supper. Can't wait to give this a try after picking up some greens at the farmer's market tomorrow!
Hi Kelly, don't you just love farmer's market season? We do! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I think I'd love both the tomatoes and cucumbers that you suggest. And I love the idea of coating the beans first! That's genius!
Hi Anonymous, tossing the beans first with the vinaigrette really enhances their flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This is such a delicious and hearty vegetarian salad!! I'll be making this next week, and I'll add the cherry tomatoes and cucumber to mine. Yum, thanks John!!
Hi Marcelle, cherry tomatoes and cukes both are pretty good quality right now, so good choice. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This is a fairly Greek salad without being a “Greek Salad”. Still this post scratched an itch I didn’t even know was there. I’m on a Greek island and have had a “salad” (a staple in my LA life) for a couple of months. This is also one of the first blog I’ve visited in the same amount of time. I wonder if that means I’ve begun to miss my regular life. GREG
Hi Greg, this is rather like a Greek salad, although that wasn't our intention. Nice when serendipity happens! You guys are enjoying a really LONG vacation. Must be fun, but I can see how missing your regular life would be a thing. At least sometimes. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This is the perfect summer salad. Any recipe using beans I'm in.
Hi Balvinder, we love beans in salads! Thanks for the comment.
Healthful and easy as can be to make -- that's the epitome of breezy summer eating. A perfect dish for this time of year.
Hi Carolyn, easy and tasty can't be beat. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I was just over at Karen's and she made a wonderful bean salad too. Throw a can of tuna on this beauty and it becomes a Spanish favourite! I will need to get white beans. (BTW, I can't comment as Google on my iPhone, only my laptop! so sometimes I comment as anonymous, I see Greg is having the same issue).
Hi Eva, Blogger seems to have a real issue with IPhones -- a lot of people have trouble commenting. I think it has something to do with their security settings, but I'm not sure. Anyway, thanks for persevering. and thanks for the comment. :-)
This is such a delicious looking summer salad, elegant simple and tasty. I use white beans as often as possible. Thanks for the inspiration David.
Hi Pauline, isn't this nice? We like white beans a lot. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I simply love that easy lemon vinaigrette you used - perfect pairing with beans and greens!
Hi Shashi, we really like lemon in vinaigrette -- such nice flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Simple yet packed with the flavour - beautiful summer (or for any other time of the year) salad!
Hi Ben, simple dishes like this can be SO good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Salads like this are the best. I know the beans pack great protein but we might add some flaked Italian tuna. Super recipe, John. Stay cool!
Hi David, we've made this with tuna in addition to the beans! Great flavor combo. :-) Thanks for the comment.
It is indeed perfect for hot summer days. The simple and clean flavours of this salad with the greens and proteins can easily turn into a wholesome meal.
Hi Taruna, we love this kind of simple dish! Thanks for the comment.
Such a nice and simple salad, good to prepare when youre in a rush
Hi Raymund, we love the clear, clean flavors of this. :-) Thanks for the comment.
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