Italian White Bean Salad


This hearty salad delivers an impressive array of Italian favors beginning with the white cannellini beans that are common in Tuscan cuisine. The salad also features a medley of colorful fruits and vegetables including sweet bell pepper, ripe tomatoes, fresh oranges and lots of fresh herbs. Balsamic vinegar from Modena in the Emilia Romagna region gives great depth and character to the dressing. Serve this salad lightly chilled or at room temperature as an accompaniment to grilled seafood, chicken or pork.

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar, or to taste
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Salad:

  • 1 (15½ ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup diced red onion (about ½ medium onion)
  • ½ medium red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 ripe red tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 large orange, peeled, membranes removed, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste 

For the Dressing: Whisk together the vinegar, garlic and sugar in a small mixing bowl; slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly and vigorously to emulsify. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary with salt, pepper and sugar; set aside until needed. 

For the Salad: Combine the beans, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, oranges, parsley, chives and rosemary in a medium mixing bowl. A dd the dressing and toss to coat thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve lightly chilled or at room temperature.