Saturday, May 24, 2014

White Bean Artichoke Salad

No matter the weather, Memorial Day kicks off summer and many of us mark the weekend by grilling outside.   White Bean Artichoke Salad is a quick side dish that compliments grilled foods, especially chicken and fish.  

If you are ready to add a new dish to your cole slaw and potato salad spread, try this salad.  You can vary the herbs to match the main course (or what is in your fridge today).  Make it ahead and spend some quality time on the deck while others tend the fire.  Don't be shy with your fresh herbs.  They impart bright flavor and contrasting texture to the bean base.  They are a sure sign that summer is finally coming. 

White Bean Artichoke Salad
8-10 portions

Ingredients
2 14-oz cans white beans, drained (about 4 cups cooked)
1 14-oz can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
zest of ½ lemon
juice of ½ lemon
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup loosely packed fresh, chopped herbs: dill, parsley, basil, etc
salt and pepper to taste

Method
  1. Pour drained beans into a medium-large bowl.  
  2. Chop the quartered artichokes so that they are closed in size to the beans so they are easy to scoop up and eat with a fork.  In the photo, they’ve been cut into one-third chunks.  
  3. Add the artichokes to the beans.  
  4. Zest half a lemon over bean mixture, then add the juice of the halved lemon and olive oil.  Stir mixture together, using a light touch so that beans do not get mashed.  
  5. Next add the fresh herbs, salt and pepper.  Mix everything together.  Cover and store in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight. 
Bonus Round
Leftover White Bean Artichoke Salad is delicious stuffed into a tortilla wrap with a little lettuce for a quick lunch or snack.  You can also puree the marinated bean salad with some added olive oil or broth for a quick bean dip.