Summer is quickly approaching, and that means peak tomato season. Sure, cherry and grape tomatoes are available year round at the grocery store, but they are at their best when in season. When you are using fresh tomatoes in recipes like this, you want the best flavored tomatoes. Save the tart tomatoes for cooked dishes.You can use either grape or cherry tomatoes in this salad. The grape tomatoes looked the best at the store that day, so that’s what I chose.
This White Bean, Tomato and Kalamata Olive Salad makes a refreshing side dish for four or light main course for two. Mix in some canned tuna in olive oil and you’ve got a protein-packed lunch. I made this a day ahead, let it come back to room temperature and mixed in some tuna for our lunch one day. Delicious!
The Kalamata Olives and Parmesan cheese add a nice salty balance to the salad. If you can, get the real deal Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Trader Joe’s has one called that, but trust me, it is not the same. It’s not bad, but the flavor isn’t nearly as good. You can find Parmigiano-Reggiano at specialty markets. If you’re in Texas, it can be found at Central Market. I’m sure that Whole Foods sells it also, but I’ve never priced it there.
At Central Market, they chop it into varying sizes. I don’t use a whole ton of it, so I look for the cheapest one I can find in the bin. I try to stick around the five or six dollar range. Also, be sure to save the rind when you’ve used all the cheese. Pop it into the freezer, and you can use it to flavor soups and stews. It adds a great amount of flavor. Some grocery stores even sell containers of just the rinds.
White Bean, Tomato and Kalamata Olive Salad
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp . dijon mustard
- 1 (14.5 oz) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup grape (or cherry) tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion (green parts only)
- 2 tbsp finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 10 kalamata olives , halved
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard.
- In a large bowl, add the beans, green onions, tomatoes, olives and cheese. Pour the dressing over and toss together. Let marinate for one hour at room temperature. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.