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Tuscan Bean Salad

Serves 6.


    Tuscan Bean Salad

    The best aromatic flavours come from the freshest ingredients. When cooking Italian, look for fresh vine-ripened tomatoes and good quality olive oil.


    Which beans are best?

    For best results, use dried beans as they’re firmer and hold their shape better. If time is an issue, substitute canned beans, but be sure to thoroughly drain and rinse them before using. Be gentle when folding them in.

    A variety of beans

    Italy is a country rich with beans. You can use many types of beans in this recipe, including Romano, chickpeas, fava, or cannellini—all are great substitutes in this delicious salad. Spike up the flavour with fresh basil and oregano.


    Tuscan Bean Salad


    • 1 cup (250 mL) dried great northern beans or navy beans
    • 1 bay leaf, 1 sprig of thyme, and 1 sprig of rosemary
    • 1 large garlic clove
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
    • 1 small cooking onion, finely diced
    • 2 firm, ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
    • 2 cups (500 mL) fresh baby greens such as Swiss chard, kale, and spinach, washed and spun dry
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 tsp (10 mL) minced fresh basil leaves
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) agave syrup
    • 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped Italian parsley
    • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) pine nuts, toasted


    Per serving:

    • calories238
    • protein10g
    • fat11g
      • saturated fat1g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates29g
      • sugars4g
      • fibre8g
    • sodium72mg



    To soak beans, rinse and place in large bowl. Cover with 1 in (2.5 cm) cold water and soak at room temperature for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Drain and rinse before cooking.


    To cook, place beans in large pot with 3 cups (750 mL) water along with bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Cover and boil gently for 1 1/2 hours. Drain; remove bay leaf, herbs, and garlic. Spread beans on towel-lined baking sheet and cool to room temperature.


    Heat oil in skillet. Add fennel slices and onion and sauteu0301 over medium heat until soft. Transfer to bowl. Fold in cooked and cooled beans, tomatoes, and greens.


    Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together, adding salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over bean mixture and gently fold in. Sprinkle with parsley and pine nuts.


    To make ahead, refrigerate beans and fennel mixture separately from tomatoes and greens. Toss together with vinaigrette just before serving.



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