Mediterranean Bean Salad
For this Mediterranean bean salad, you’ll need simple, inexpensive, fresh ingredients and combine the delicious flavors of summer for a perfect summer dish. The perfect blend of herbs and spices adds just the right amount of flavor to this dish. Feel free to play around with the spices, vegetables, and ingredients you have in your kitchen.
You’ll love this bean salad: crunchy, colorful, protein-packed, high in fiber, and nutritious. Inexpensive and versatile, this bean salad is the perfect choice for a healthy, nutritious lunch. This Mediterranean bean salad is an excellent stash in the fridge for busy weeks. With a few more ingredients like feta cheese, boiled egg, leftover roast chicken, etc., you can turn a simple bean salad into a hearty meal that packs a punch.
I am not a fan of canned beans. I prefer to buy dried beans and cook everything from scratch. If you choose canned beans, select the ones in the cardboard box and read the label to make the right choice because they contain much salt. Too much salt in your diet can increase your risk of heart disease.
The end of summer is my favorite time of year because lots of vegetables are harvested. It’s the perfect time to increase our vegetable consumption and prepare all sorts of canned goods and store them in the pantry for the upcoming winter season. It’s the ideal time to store at local farmers and enjoy all those vegetables’ freshness and health benefits.
Red and yellow onions, red bell peppers, olives, fresh chopped parsley, tomatoes, butter beans, and hearty spinach blend their flavors into a delicious bean salad. Fresh tomatoes and red peppers add texture, color, and a delightful aroma to this bean salad. You can use any bean you like best. Sometimes I prefer butter beans because of their creamy texture.
This Mediterranean bean salad works well as an appetizer or a delicious side salad.
The secret ingredient in this bean salad is onion. Beans go well with onions and thyme. So I used a red and yellow onion. And I was generous with the dried thyme.
The salad dressing
The Mediterranean dressing gives the salad the bite it needs.
It’s so easy to make: just olive oil, apple cider vinegar, a few cloves of garlic, some dried herbs like thyme and oregano, salt, and black pepper to taste.
The ingredients you need for a hearty bean salad:
- Dried butter beans or whatever beans you like best. You can also opt for canned beans if you feel like it: 1 can of butter beans drained and rinsed.
- One red onion and one yellow onion,
- Two cloves of garlic (or more if you prefer a garlic-heavy bean salad),
- One red bell pepper,
- Two tomatoes (or more), tomatoes that are in season, are incredibly juicy and delicious.
- A few olives
- A handful of fresh, chopped parsley
- A handful of fresh spinach
- A squeeze of lemon juice for the spinach
- Olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and black pepper.
As I told you before, this bean salad is so versatile. Let your imagination run wild to impress your taste buds.
Here is how to make a delicious Mediterranean bean salad:
This butter bean salad consists of three main steps:
- Soaking the beans and cooking the beans.
- Make the bean mixture so that the cooked beans can absorb all the flavors of onions, dried thyme, garlic, and olives. And let the mixture sit for at least 4 hours.
- Add the rest of the vegetables and season to taste.
How to soak the beans
If you want to make this bean salad using dried beans, you need to soak the beans first. It’s easy to do:
- Put the beans in a large glass bowl (not plastic) and add cold water to cover the beans.
- Let the beans soak overnight at room temperature for 12 hours, adding more water if the water level is too low.
- Drain the beans after soaking and rinse before cooking.
One of my mother’s old tips for preventing gas is to pour away the first water of the cooked beans. What do I mean by that? After soaking, pour off the liquid, rinse the beans, put them in a large pot of water, and bring to a boil. Let the beans simmer for 5 minutes, and then pour away the water, rinse the beans and cook as usual.
Why should you soak beans before cooking them?
- It seems that soaked beans are easier to digest and cook faster.
Let us get back to our bean salad recipe.
- Soak the beans overnight, and then add them to a large pot of water and boil.
- Chop the onions and place them in a large salad bowl. Add a little salt and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and toss.
- Mince two cloves of garlic and add them to the onion mixture along with two tablespoons of olive oil.
- When the beans are cooked, drain them and add them hot to the mixture. A heaping teaspoon of dried thyme is mandatory and adds a lovely aroma to our bean salad. Add a few olives and half a teaspoon of oregano and toss the mixture. Now you can set the mixture aside to allow the flavors to meld. I recommend making this bean salad at least 4 to 5 hours before serving to allow all the flavors to blend.
- Slice red pepper and add it to the bean mixture.
- Cut two or three tomatoes into chunks.
- Wash the fresh parsley and chop it. I add about a handful of chopped parsley.
When it’s time to eat, add the chopped red pepper, tomatoes, and fresh parsley to the bean bowl—season to taste with a bit of salt and black pepper and toss. Add more vinegar if you want a sharper flavor and more olive oil if you like.
- Wash a handful of spinach and put it on a large plate. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Put all the bean salad on top of the spinach and serve.
- To have a hearty meal on hand on my busy days, I always cook some beans ahead of time, prepare the bean mixture as I explained to you earlier, and then add the rest of the ingredients when I am ready: Tomatoes, red peppers, fresh parsley, etc. And in no time at all, the delicious Mediterranean bean salad is ready.
- The bean mixture will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for several days.
- Do not add the tomatoes, red peppers, and fresh parsley until you eat the bean salad. It is because all of these ingredients will spoil and lose their freshness and crunchiness.
I’d love to hear how your recipe turned out! Just leave a comment below.
HUGS FOR NOW,
No content on this blog should ever be used to substitute for medical advice from your practitioner or other qualified doctors.