Tuesday, July 10, 2012

White Bean Salad with Zucchini and Parmesean


This is a good, simple recipe to prepare and enjoy during these hot days. I modified this recipe and think it turned out great.  The original recipe calls for the veggies to be raw, but I decided I would rather cook them.  So this can be a super simple recipe, I just chose to make it more complicated.

I also chose to make this recipe more difficult by cooking my own beans.  I do not eat beans that come out of a can, and while it's more work to make them yourself, it's definitely worth it.  Canned beans are soaked in not only a lot of sodium, but also highly toxic BPA.  In addition to being a hormone disruptor and causing a slew of other health problems, BPA is now being linked to brain cancer.  I strongly urge you to avoid canned goods whenever possible.  Don't forget to soak your beans the night before, and then they only take an hour or less to cook, so it's not that much of an inconvenience.  The recipe calls for cannellini beans, but my sweet husband accidentally bought cranberry beans instead.  They turned out pretty well, so if you can find them, I definitely recommend them!

And while I'm on my anti-can goods soap box, remember to never buy pre-shredded cheese (it's full of chemicals and other crud like wood pulp!).  Freshly grated cheese is awesome :)

  • 1 1/2 pounds cannellini beans (or cranberry beans)
  • 3/4 pound zucchini (about 2-3 small), trimmed, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 4 ounces green beans, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil for cooking (or olive oil if you prefer)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. Soak beans overnight.
  2. When you are ready to start cooking, drain beans and add them to a pot of water with a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil.  Depending on the type of bean you use, cook for 30 minutes to an hour.
Cranberry beans ready to be cooked
3.  Fill a medium size pot with water and bring to a boil (for blanching green beans).
4.  Chop zucchini and green beans.

Beans from the CSA
5.  Add grapeseed oil to a skillet.  Saute zucchini with salt and pepper for a few minutes.  At the same time, add green beans to the pot of boiling water.  Allow them to boil for a few minutes (depending on how crisp you want them, this can be anywhere from a minute to five or more). 

Zucchini from the CSA also
6.  Drain cannellini beans and green beans.  Run cold water over the beans to stop them from cooking further.

7.  In a medium bowl, place cannellini beans, zucchini, green beans, Parmesan, basil, lemon zest and juice, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

The finished product

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