Wednesday, June 8, 2022

White Bean and Fresh Greens Salad

 White Bean and Fresh Greens Salad

Arugula and spinach zip up this hearty summer salad

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!

White Bean and Fresh Greens Salad
Recipe: White Bean and Fresh Greens Salad

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.

Ingredients

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)

Procedure 

  1. Make the vinaigrette: Add all the vinaigrette ingredients to a small lidded jar, then shake vigorously to combine. Taste, then adjust seasoning if necessary. 
  2. Add the beans to a mixing bowl. Add the vinaigrette. Mix briefly.
  3. Add the greens and the red onion (if using). Mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly coated with vinaigrette.
  4. Taste, add more seasoning if necessary, and serve.

White Bean and Fresh Greens Salad
Notes

  • 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.

White Bean and Fresh Greens Salad
To Bean or Not to Bean

“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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62 comments:

Anne in the kitchen said...

I love a summertime salad meal. This would be perfect for a porch dinner!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Anne, summer really is salad season. Your porch awaits this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Mae Travels said...

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

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Mae, you're right -- you can riff on this recipe almost endlessly. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Angie's Recipes said...

Love creamy white beans! It's awesome to pair them with any seasonal greens for a satisfying and delicious lunch.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Angie, beans and greens can't be beat! :-) Thanks for the comment.

velva said...

I am a firm believer that simple is best. Your salad is proof. As always, thanks for sharing.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Velva, we do know simple. Fitting, I guess. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Perfect for a quick, yummy lunch. Had to giggle at lettuce remain calm....ha!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Liz, :-) This is such a nice, light dish. Thanks for the comment.

Merryn said...

How lovely! This is a sensational dish and the idea of mixing the vinaigrette with the beans first is brilliant. Just wonderful.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Merryn, we really like this -- beans and greens (and vinaigrette!) play so well together. :-) Thanks for the comment.

savorthebest said...

great summer time salad. The beans make it filling enough for a full meal.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Dahn, this is enough for us for dinner. Maybe a bit on the light side, but we need that. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Laura said...

Yum! I love using lemon juice in my vinaigrettes. The perfect summer salad!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Laura, lemon juice is wonderful in vinaigrette, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

beyondkimchee said...

What a satisfying salad! I bet it will make a good meal on its own.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Holly, we like this for dinner. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Pam said...

Healthy, filling, and so tasty. My kind of salad.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Pam, ours too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

mjskit said...

You'er right - perfect for a hot summer day. Easy salad and I love the tangy and tasty dressing. Light, and again, so simple.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi MJ, light definitely works at this time of the year. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Judee said...

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

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Judee, it's really, really good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Eha said...

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' !!!

Kitchen Riffs said...

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.

Sherry's Pickings said...

Love your puns! and this salad looks great. We do eat a lot of chickpeas (garbanzos) so I'd add those.

Lea Ann said...

Perfect Summer lunch or dinner.

Healthy World Cuisine said...

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

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Sherry, this is great with chickpeas! Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Lea Ann, we think so! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Bobbi, this is so good and SO healthy -- right up your alley. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Chef Mimi said...

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.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Mimi, I'll have to look those up! :-) Thanks for the comment.

G'day Souffle said...

Yum, this looks like a nice starchy salad. I could probably eat just the beans by themselves (but that would be naughty)!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Fran, naughty, but nice. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kelly | Foodtasia said...

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!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Kelly, don't you just love farmer's market season? We do! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

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!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Anonymous, tossing the beans first with the vinaigrette really enhances their flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Marcelle said...

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!!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Marcelle, cherry tomatoes and cukes both are pretty good quality right now, so good choice. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

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

Reply

Kitchen Riffs said...

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.

Balvinder said...

This is the perfect summer salad. Any recipe using beans I'm in.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Balvinder, we love beans in salads! Thanks for the comment.

Food Gal said...

Healthful and easy as can be to make -- that's the epitome of breezy summer eating. A perfect dish for this time of year.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Carolyn, easy and tasty can't be beat. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Eva Taylor said...

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).

Kitchen Riffs said...

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. :-)

HAPPY RETIREES KITCHEN said...

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.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Pauline, isn't this nice? We like white beans a lot. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Shashi at SavorySpin said...

I simply love that easy lemon vinaigrette you used - perfect pairing with beans and greens!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Shashi, we really like lemon in vinaigrette -- such nice flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Ben | Havocinthekitchen said...

Simple yet packed with the flavour - beautiful summer (or for any other time of the year) salad!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Ben, simple dishes like this can be SO good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

David Scott Allen said...

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!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi David, we've made this with tuna in addition to the beans! Great flavor combo. :-) Thanks for the comment.

EASYFOODSMITH said...

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.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Taruna, we love this kind of simple dish! Thanks for the comment.

Raymund said...

Such a nice and simple salad, good to prepare when youre in a rush

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Raymund, we love the clear, clean flavors of this. :-) Thanks for the comment.