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Cannellini Bean Salad

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Every cook needs a few very quick recipes that serve multiple purposes and almost never fail, using ingredients most always on hand. Today's basic cannellini bean salad from the website FOOD is just that.

It's a summer-perfect addition to most any grilled meat. The goal is a simple combination of flavors that blend perfectly together, instead of striving for layers of flavor that might take away from a perfectly grilled lamb chop (my particular summer evening favorite) or other pricey cut of meat—or a perfectly seasoned grilled burger, portobello mushroom or other vegetables and fruits. 


2 15 ounce cans of good quality Italian cannellini beans

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

juice of one lemon

1/2 cup basil leaves

1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves

1 teaspoon ground cumin

sea salt

fresh ground black pepper


Drain beans in colander and rinse really well under cold water.

Place garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, basil leaves, parsley leaves, cumin, and salt and pepper into food processor or blender. 

Pulse for a few seconds so that there is still a bit of texture. Place beans into bowl and pour over the dressing, toss well. 

If possible let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving. If not possible, they are still great served immediately. 

We frequently add chopped tomatoes, green or red onions, and chopped cucumbers, depending on the mood of the cooks and what's in the pantry and refrigerator.  

Nutritional information

Cannellini beans are particularly popular in Italy. They must always be cooked properly, because raw cannellini beans contain high levels of toxic lectins. When boiled long enough, cannellini beans lose their toxicity and actually become a delicious and creamy super food. 

Cannellinis are high protein and very low glycemic beans that metabolize slowly and provide steady energy for hours following their consumption. They contain a generous amount of molybdenum that plays a vital role in stimulating detoxifying enzymes like sulfite oxidase and aldehyde oxidase, which helps destroy acetaldehyde, the not-so-healthy substance formed as a by-product of yeast and alcohol metabolism. 

These particular beans are considered a gold mine of antioxidants including ferulic acid, suggested to keep our skin supple and youthful by helping to prevent sun damage and to help repair the loss of skin elasticity linked to too much sunbathing in our youth.

Good quality canned cannellini beans from Italy are usually cooked to perfection. My favorite brands are Carmelina or Goya. I consider them a staple in my kitchen, so I buy the 12 or 24 packs from Amazon or Walmart grocery, and they are delivered right to my door during one of the daily free grocery deliveries in my downtown neighborhood. 

Nutrient-dense pantry staple foods and other household items delivered to our neighborhoods, with consideration for greenhouse gas peak and drawdown for the future of our health and planet, lead to collective, difference-making impact. 

Eat well and enjoy!

Ellen Troyer with David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff