The heat is back on in Arizona these days. Expected high of 90 today and yesterday we were in the mid-80's. It just doesn't seem right somehow and I have to admit, it's a little hard to eat "comfort" food when comfortable means having the AC back on.
Last night's menu was more of a summer hot weather dish which doesn't quite suit what's happening in most of the rest of the country but tuck this one away for future reference because it deserves a spot on the menu. Actually it would be great beside some of the left over turkey bird we'll all be having in a few weeks.
This gorgeous salad includes navy beans (I used canned), and onion along with sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives and marinated mozzarella cheese balls. Garnished with fresh parsley and basil and mixed together with a sharp Italian vinaigrette, it goes together very quickly and looks phenomenal on the plate. Best at room temperature, I served it on a bed of spinach because I knew we'd have leftovers but you could certainly mix the spinach right into the salad too.
Served with some moist tender hamburger steaks and a lovely ripe sliced tomato on the side, it was summer personified on the second day of November. Go figure! Download Tuscan WHite Bean Salad with Spinach
Tuscan White Bean Salad with Spinach (adapted from The Foster’s Market Cookbook)
2 cans Navy beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
8 ounces marinated mozzarella cheese balls
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
Salt & pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cups fresh spinach, cleaned and roughly chopped
Combine ingredients beans, onion, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella and olives together in a medium sized bowl. Toss to combine. Add basil, parsley and dressing, tossing lightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or just slightly cool. Toss with spinach just before serving or alternatively serve on a bed of spinach.
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 clove of garlic, minced
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Mix above ingredients together in a small jar and shake well to combine well.