Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tuscan White Bean Salad with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes


In theory this is a salad, but it’s more of what I think of as comfort food. It’s the kind of food I crave when the weather starts to cool. Even though the recipe looks long, it’s very simple to make and doesn’t require a lot of attention while is cooks.

Most likely you already know out of your head how to cook dried beans and to roast tomatoes and if you do, there’s nothing much left to do other than to assemble the salad. It’s perfect for serve yourself buffets or double or triple it for a covered dish party.

If you’re in a pinch for time, you could substitute canned beans. But I think beans cooked from scratch always taste superior in flavor as well as have a nicer texture. In truth, they beans practically cook themselves and require very little attention from you.


Tuscan White Bean Salad with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes  
Adapted from Williams Sonoma’s Cooking for Friends – serves 4 – 6
Printable Recipe

Slow roasted tomatoes – recipe below
Slow cooked Tuscan white beans – recipe below
¼ cup fresh oregano leaves + a few for garnish
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup champagne vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place roasted tomatoes in a bowl. Add cooked white beans, oregano, olive oil, and vinegar and toss to combine. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve in bowl or transfer to a platter. Garnish with fresh oregano leaves.

Cook’s notes: This salad is excellent served either warm or at room temperature. It’s perfect for a serve yourself buffet or to double it for a covered dish party.


Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Adapted from Williams Sonoma’s Cooking for Friends – serves 4 – 6

8 to 10 plum tomatoes or 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
About ¼ cup good extra-virgin olive oil
About 1 teaspoon sugar
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange tomatoes, cut side up, on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with sugar, garlic, and generous amounts of salt and pepper. Roast tomatoes until deep red and wrinkled, 2 – 2 ½ hours for medium or plum tomatoes and 1 hour for cherry tomatoes. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet. Taste for seasonings and serve warm or at room temperature.

Cook’s notes: If you can find them, yellow tomatoes added to red tomatoes make a pretty combination.


Slow-cooked Tuscan White Beans
Adapted from Williams Sonoma’s Cooking for Friends – serves 6

2 cups dried white beans such as cannellini or great northern
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 springs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
4 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a large Dutch oven, combine beans, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, garlic and 8 cups of water. Cover and slowly bring to a simmer over low heat. Simmer uncovered, until beans are tender but not mushy. About half-way through the cooking process, add 1 tablespoon sea salt. Remove from heat and let cool, covered for 15 minutes.

Drain beans and discard their cooking liquid. If desired, discard rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, and garlic. Sprinkle the beans with pepper and more sea salt if needed, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

Cook’s notes: Be careful not to let the beans cook at too high of a simmer or their skins will separate and the beans will be mushy.  I usually check beans about 10 minutes before they are supposed to be done to avoid over-cooking.


For better viewing, click on photos to enlarge.

This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, and Weekend Bites at Simple Recipes.

Have a great weekend everyone.


36 comments:

  1. This sounds wonderful Sam. I love white beans and oven roasted tomatoes.

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  2. I have never made this..love the pops of color!
    I agree cooking your own beans way better..But in some circumstances like a pinch as you say..I keep canned on hand:)

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  3. This looks like something we'd love on our fall/winter table. Alas, the oregano (well everything but the thyme and rosemary) has fallen victim of two frosts.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  4. Sam, you have invented the Comfort Salad: white beans, roasted tomatoes, toasted bread, and bright, fragrant sprigs of oregano. Each heartwarming touch creates a dish that would be equally at home in Tuscany and Tennessee.

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  5. I love these flavors so much. Looks beautiful, Sam.

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  6. I love the idea of salad as a comfort food. Try as I may, I always think salad is healthy -- not matter what it has in it. And I sure love everything in this.

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  7. Oh that looks so delicious. And simple!

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  8. Sam, I have had this, but the tomatoes were not roasted. Clearly I have been missing out. Note to self: roast the tomatoes. :)

    Madonna

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  9. Clean food! Appeals to the eye and the palate!

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  10. This is the sort of salad my husband would love, he is not a lettuce fan! Keep well Diane

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  11. I love cooking my own beans also, Sam. What a wonderful idea for a salad. Your tomatoes look so perfectly roasted and beautiful and those little slices of garlic on top - yum! A lovely Tuscan salad.

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  12. What delicious clean eating! I'm always sad when my homegrown tomatoes are finished for the year. I resort to buying Roma's and then roasting them, to bring out the most of their flavor. This looks healthy, yet so satisfying. I'd love this!

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  13. Oh I would love a big bowl of this right now Sam! I a huge fan of beans and these sound great:@)

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  14. This looks so good!~ healthy too!

    Carolyn

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  15. Sam, This is a great looking dish...whatever its called! Perhaps served with slow cooked lamb shanks... True comfort food no matter what it's served with! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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  16. It looks comforting and very tasty! I am a huge fan of beans and all things legumes. Excellent!

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  17. What a great dish, love white beams, beautiful dish!

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  18. Looks like a fine use of some of those end of season plumb maters. I like the presentation with the toast on the plate.

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  19. You and I are on a Tuscan kick Sam. This looks delicious. I made white beans for my dish yesterday and you are right. They are so easy. I love roasted tomatoes also, so you have a real winner here.

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  20. Wonderful combination. I have a few packs of white beans which I was saving for a boring soup. No more. This is right up mother's alley. She will love it. Thanks!

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  21. Beautiful and super delicious looking Sam. What a yummy combination. I could make just this "dinner", for sure!

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  22. The flavor of a slow roasted tomato is amazing. I love them and often use them in a salad. But I've never tried them with beans. This looks wonderful, Sam. Agree about cooking the beans from scratch...not difficult at all and the results are well worth the time.
    Beautiful dish!

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  23. I love a good bean salad and with slow roasted tomatoes .... yes please. Thanks for the recipes, Sam.

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  24. Love this --- I don't think I've ever thought of salad as comfort food before, but this sure qualifies !

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  25. I love cannelini beans, Sam! This looks delicious!

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  26. Mmmm! Saving this as an idea for our Christmas party.

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  27. What a terrific salad...and a marvelous way to enjoy tomatoes when they're not at their peak! YUM.

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  28. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Sam. This is just the kind of dish I like to have in the fridge for a quick and healthy meal.

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  29. My mother made something similar so the post just evoked such warm memories! I had forgotten about it until now. We still have fresh herbs and cherry tomatoes so shall do this. Chilly nights have arrived (but thankfully not cold!).

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  30. Now that fresh summer tomatoes from the garden are a thing from the past…this is a great fall salad.

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  31. love that you paired this with the slow roasted tomatoes. It looks so comforting and delicious!

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  32. We love white beans and tomatoes in my family...pinned. Thanks for bringing this to Weekend Bites.

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  33. I can't help but think of how good the leftovers of this would be with some bacon or ham hocks and stock for a soup. I'd chop the tomatoes a little bit for the soup of course but I like this idea. Great dish, guys!

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  34. Hi Sam,
    I am looking forward to tasting this wonderful Tuscan White Bean Salad, we just love white beans. Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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