This delicious simple bean salad, Fasolia Piaz, was found in our Milk Street magazine and had the Mediterranean profile we were looking for. In Greece they typically use large, flat butter beans, but here, easier-to-find cannellinis are incorporated.
To compensate for canned beans’ blandness, they are heated in the microwave, then tossed while still hot with oil, vinegar and aromatics. As the beans cool, they absorb the seasonings, so they’re flavorful throughout.
A bonus, the beans can be heated, dressed and refrigerated up to a day in advance; but bring the beans to room temperature before tossing with the avocado, herbs and lemon. However, even cold the salad is delicious. A great dish to serve at a picnic or potluck as a side for meat lovers, or as a main for plant-based followers.
Milk Street stresses not to skip the step of heating the beans in the microwave, and don’t allow the beans to cool before adding the oil, vinegar and aromatics. Dressing them while hot ensures they are fully infused with flavor. To keep the flavors and colors fresh and bright, don’t add the avocado and herbs until you’re ready to serve.
Greek Bean Salad
- 4 15½-oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 2 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
- 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more, to serve
- 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 1 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley, torn if large
- 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh dill, chopped
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, toss the beans with 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and microwave on high until hot, 3 to 3½ minutes, stirring once halfway through.
- To the hot beans, add the garlic, onion, vinegar, oil, 2 teaspoons salt and ¾ teaspoon pepper; toss to combine. Let stand until cooled to room temperature, about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Stir the beans once again, then stir in the avocado, parsley, dill and lemon zest and juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with additional oil.
Adapted by Courtney Hill for Milk Street