A fresh summery medley. This cannellini bean salad is dressed up with roasted red peppers and a hint of citrus. For me this is the perfect light summer dinner... just give me a slice of crusty bread and I'm happy.
Sometimes you need a light summer dinner. Honestly, I could eat like this every day. It is one of my favorite ways to dine... just a fresh and light salad. A chunk of crusty bread to soak up the delicious-ness that collects at the bottom of the salad bowl.
This cannellini bean salad is high in plant-based protein and full of rich fresh flavors from roasted red peppers, capers, and citrus. No-cook. Just toss and chill. Serve.
Orange highlights the dressing adding a nice warm sweetness. I've also used some lemon juice to brighten the flavours. A job I don't think orange can do on it's own.
How to make fresh and light bean salads
Fresh herbs. Lots. Of fresh herbs.
Just like this favorite summer bean salad, fresh herbs are a game-changer for bean salads. The same rules apply here -- add lots of fresh herbs to add interest and brightness to any bean salad. This is a great way to use the herbs you might have growing in the garden or in the little pot on the window sill.
You will need a generous ¼ cup of fresh herbs. Get creative with the fresh herbs you have available. Choose lighter, summer herbs.
I've used parsley, basil, and chives.
Use single herbs - parsley or basil
Or combinations -
parsley and mint
basil, marjarum and parsley
Tip: it is often cheaper to buy and grow your own fresh herbs than to buy bunches of cut herbs. If garden space is limited, a little spot in a sunny window is all you need. Most grocery stores will have small pots of parsley or basil for about the same price as a couple of packages of pre-cut herbs. And you will get much more for several weeks.
Toss all the ingredients in a bowl - really that is it.
I don't mix the dressing separately. I just dump everything in and then toss.
This salad is best if you let it sit for about 30 minutes so the flavors have some time to come together. In fact, this salad is even better the next day.
📖 Ingredient notes
- Capers and red onions are necessary flavor components to this salad. Don't skip them.
- Go easy on the garlic. It is necessary but can easily overpower the dish. So be careful.
- I use jarred roasted red peppers. I like to buy jars of whole peppers - and used about 3 whole peppers for this salad. You will need about 1 cup of sliced red peppers.
- Consider canned cannellini beans or white kidney beans for this recipe. You can cook your own, but for convenience and to keep this recipe quick and easy, I use canned. Look for low sodium, BPA-free variety.
- Salt to taste, depending on your beans (salted, salt-free, homemade, or canned) the amount of salt you need will depend on the variety you use. I like to use salt-free varieties so I can adjust the salt in my recipes to my preference.
- You can roast your own red peppers. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to DIY roasted peppers.
🍴Serving and storage
Serve this salad as part of a summer meal or on its own as a light and fresh dinner. It works well with BBQ fare or even as part of pot-luck or informal gatherings. The roasted red peppers make this salad feel a bit fancy 🎩
This salad also improves over time and will keep refrigerated for a couple of days. I like packing leftovers for lunch.
Roasted Red Pepper and White Bean Salad
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tbsp capers finely chopped
- zest from ½ an orange
- juice from ½ an orange
- juice from ½ a lemon
- 1-½ cups cooked cannellini beans or white kidney beans, about 1 can rinsed and drained, I use low-sodium varieties
- 3-4 whole roasted red peppers about 1 cup sliced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs parsley, basil, chives
- ½ cup red onion small dice
- 1 clove garlic minced
- salt to taste
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Let sit about 30 minutes before serving to let the flavours meld.