White Bean Salad

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

This is a generic bean salad that can be dressed up with chopped tomatoes and fresh herbs, such as mint, sage, basil, chives, or green onions. Whether you use the smaller Great Northerns or the larger cannellini, you will enjoy the balance of creamy richness coupled with the bite of the onions and vinegar. You could make this with chick-peas (garbanzo beans) as well, although the texture of the chick-peas is drier and crunchier. Unless you really love bean salads, you will want to serve this with other lighter salads, such as broccoli with olives and garlic vinaigrette, little cooked artichokes, carrots with a zesty citrus vinaigrette, or with grilled or canned tuna with chopped green onions.


  • 1 cup dried Great Northern or cannellini beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 6 cups lightly salted water
  • cup plus ½ cup virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (or to taste) red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon (or to taste) salt
  • ½ teaspoon (or to taste) freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 cup diced (½ inch) tomatoes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herb, such as mint, sage, or parsley (optional)


Cook the beans in the lightly salted water until tender but not soft. You should have about 3 cups. Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add cup olive oil, the vinegar, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Let cool. Add the remaining oil, the onion, tomatoes, and herb; combine well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. You may want to add a bit more vinegar too.