Mediterranean Cannellini Bean Salad

We have a rule in our house - don't plant the garden until after Mother's Day. I'll admit that we've snuck it in before on Mother's Day, but waiting until May usually gives our little bits of ground an opportunity to properly support seedlings and seeds with too much threat of snow. That said, we're in Wisconsin and I think the only month I've ever not experienced snow is August! But what I'm getting to is that my garden won't be handing off fresh bounty for a bit and even the early offerings of our CSA shares are a little thin right off the bat. So what is one to do when freshness cravings are high, but the local produce hasn't quite caught up to them yet?

Reach for a can of beans and some of the most reliable market produce you can find, that's what. This salad is based on a can of white beans and good flavor standards like cucumber and cherry tomatoes. This time of the year, I can even manage to find green onions, chives, or ramps in my CSA box, although a bunch from the market is still great. Using fresh lemon zest and juice helps make those flavors pop and mustard is a yummy addition too. If you want to make this salad the main event, add chopped chicken, seared steak, flaked tuna, or marinated tofu.

This is one of my favorite salads because I can double or triple the recipe and set up a bevy of lunches for myself when I know I have a busy week ahead of me. I can add any/all of the aforementioned protein options (or just have a hard-boiled egg with lunch) and I'm good to go without breaking my stride. And don't we all need that sometimes?

Mediterranean Cannellini Bean Salad

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
  • ½ English cucumber, diced
  • 6 oz. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced
  • ½ teaspoon grainy mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to taste

Add the cannellini beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and green onions to a serving bowl.

Add the lemon zest and juice and the mustard, Season with salt and pepper. Add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (2 to 3 tablespoons). Stir the salad to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  • Yields: 4 side dish servings, 2 main dish servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes

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