Thursday, July 12, 2012

Delicious Summer Salad Recipe: Warm White Bean and Arugula Salad

Mandy's Warm White Bean and Arugula Salad
This is one of my favorite summer salads! It reminds me of eating dinners outside on warm summer nights when I lived in southern Italy as a kid. Pair this with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc and you will be transported to Italia immediately!

The other reason why I love this salad is because it can be made as light or as heavy as you like. When I make it for myself, I go heavier on the white beans for a protein-packed lunch. And when I make it as a side dish for grilled pizza night with my hubby, I use less beans and more greens. Arugula is full of Vitamins A and K and has sky-high levels of antioxidant plant pigments Lutein and Zeaxanthin, at 711 mcg per cup.

Ingredients:
- 1 can of Trader Joe's Cannellini White Kidney Beans
- 1 Bag of Trader Joe's Organics Arugula
- 1/2 Red Onion
-  Fresh Parmeseano Reggiano
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sriracha
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Black Peppercorn Grinder


Directions:
1) In a small saute` pan over medium heat, coat the bottom with olive oil and let heat up for 1 minute. Add sliced red onion into pan and let cook for another minute. Once sizzling, add entire can of Cannellini white beans to pan and saute` together with onions and olive oil. (Important: do not drain the beans! trust me: the sauce is the best part, you'll see!) If you like a little spice, drizzle Sriracha over top. Start slowly with the spice, taste, then add more or less depending on your preference.

2) While everything is blending together on the stove, prepare the arugula. No need to do anything special with the greens, just place it in a large mixing bowl. When the saute` is ready (This is a super quick process - beans should cook for no more than 2 minutes), empty the entire pan of ingredients into the mixing bowl, on top of the arugula. Mix it all around really well, allowing the greens to soak up the sauce.

3) Grate fresh Parmesean over top the salad, mix together again and then plate the salad. Grate more cheese on top (the more the better!), crack a bit of black pepper and sprinkle some red pepper flakes for an additional kick.

Enjoy this delicious summer salad for lunch or dinner and play around with adding different toppings of your choice. I've seen it also made with crispy prosciutto or sun dried tomatoes, or change the texture by adding pickled red onions, like the yummy version I tried at Prep Kitchen Little Italy here in San Diego.

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