Recipe of the Week: White Bean Salad

A few weeks ago we did a post on a recipe by Deborah Madison and tipster Agen kindly suggested other vegetarian cookbooks Treehuggers might enjoy. At his suggestion, we immediately went online to our favourite Product Service System, the magnificent Toronto Public Library, and ordered Fresh Food Fast by Peter Berley. In a few short days we were happily in possession of this charming book and checking out the recipes. This is a great book beginners, but there is plenty in it to appeal to a more experienced cook. The recipes are divided by season and Berley provides 12 menus for each season. He also has lists of what fresh produce, pantry items and equipment is required for each menu plan. He then breaks the menu down step by step in order of tasks for the cook who isn’t used to juggling cooking a few things at a time. Most of these recipes are uncomplicated and could easily be made after a day at work without having to spend too much time in the kitchen. For this recipe you could use fresh mozzarella, but if you can get it the smoked cheese it really makes a big difference in the taste. Thanks for the tip, Agen.

Warm White Bean Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Smoked Mozzarella
½ cup firmly packed sun dried tomatoes
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced red onion (about 1 medium)
½ tsp coarse sea salt or kosher salt
1 cup thinly sliced peeled carrots (about 2 medium)
1 cup thinly sliced celery stalks (about 2 medium)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 (15 ounce) can white beans, drained
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ pound smoked mozzarella, diced
4 cups arugula leaves, for serving
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley for garnish.

1. In a large sauté pan over high heat, combine the oil, onion and salt and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, rosemary and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1 more minute. Add ¼ cup of water and cover the pan. Cook over high heat until the vegetables are just crisp-tender, about 2 minutes
2. Uncover the pan and turn off the heat. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, mozzarella and vinegar and season with salt to taste.
3. Toss the beans with the arugula and serve garnished with chopped parsley.

Serves 4

Fresh Food Fast by Peter Berley ::Amazon