This is a versatile salad that I love to keep in my fridge. It gets better and better with each passing day, makes a great lunch or side dish, is easily adaptable to whatever vegetables I have on hand, and makes a great addition to a potluck or picnic. Whenever I bring this salad to an event, the gluten-free crowd gets happy, and if I leave off the cheese, the dairy-free people love me too. Don’t be afraid to add your own flavors–that’s part of the beauty of this easy, make-ahead dish!
Marinated White Bean Salad
1 16 oz package white beans, such as Northern or Navy beans
2 c. seeded and diced ripe tomatoes
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1 orange bell pepper (or any color you like)
½ red onion, diced finely
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
2-3 cans solid white Albacore tuna, optional
¼ c. + 1 T. red wine vinegar
¼ extra virgin olive oil
¼ c. water kefir (or plain water)
2 t. Dijon mustard
½ T. Italian seasoning
1 t. dried basil, or ½ T. pesto
1 t. salt
1 garlic clove, crushed
Pepper to taste
Soak the beans for 12-24 hours in fresh, cold water. Cook according to package instructions, being careful not to overcook them. Drain, rinse, and allow to cool completely. Add the chopped vegetables. Mix the dressing ingredients together and blend well. Pour over the beans and vegetables. Carefully mix together until combined. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to blend. Allow the salad to come up to room temperature before serving.
Variations: Use any combination of fresh vegetables you like such as shredded zucchini or carrots. Also, try adding diced salami for an antipasto flavor.
Make it a meal: Add 2-3 cans of solid white Albacore tuna right before serving. Fold in the tuna gently, being careful not to overmix. Serve on salad greens.