I was on a bit of a bean bender during summer and fall, frequently roasting garbanzo beans into crunchy, salty snacks or pureeing them into hummus. But all this time, there has been another bean in my lunch life: the creamy white cannellini bean.
Full of fiber, magnesium, and thiamin, the high-in-protein cannellini bean has provided the punch of energy I need around midday, even though I have most often consumed this bean in salad form.
Cannellini beans tossed with thin strips of zucchini and sliced tomatoes formed a creamy, crunchy, juicy salad that packed a lot of flavor and texture on its own. With just a light sprinkling of salt and pepper and a drizzle of sweetly acidic balsamic vinegar, this salad is delicious, healthy, and filling.
Bonus: it takes only a minute or two to throw together and is easy to pack for a work lunch, as it will last without refrigeration for several hours and won’t get soggy like a lettuce-based salad would. Just make sure to use fresh zucchini and quality tomatoes, as those flavors are particularly noticeable in this salad. An almost-sour zucchini can sometimes be rescued by roasting but just won’t do in a raw salad, as I found out the hard way one of the 10+ times I tossed this together.
Cannellini Bean, Zucchini and Tomato Salad with Balsamic Vinegar
Serves 1 person for lunch
1/2 c. cannellini or other white beans, cooked and drained
1/2 c. zucchini, thinly sliced in 2-inch long pieces (or cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler)
3/4 c. tomatoes (preferably dry-farmed Early Girl or heirloom variety), sliced
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Toss beans, zucchini, and tomatoes with balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve chilled or room temperature.