Thursday, September 18, 2008

Recipe for Cannellini Beans in Mint Marinade (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

If you have mint in the garden, this recipe for Cannellini Beans in Mint Marinade is really a wow!

Cannellini Beans in mint marinade found on KalynsKitchen.comThis recipe for Cannellini Beans in Mint Marinade is a dish that immediately perked up my taste buds, and after I took one bite of this salad when Merritt brought it to my neighborhood block party, I quickly asked her for the recipe. It's such a simple idea, cannellini beans marinated in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and finely chopped mint, but this may be my favorite mint recipe ever. Merritt said she found the recipe in a cookbook called The Vegan Gourmet, and changed it just slightly over the years she's been making it.

If you haven't tried growing your own herbs, mint is ridiculously easy to grow, and can tolerate most any type of abuse. However, be sure to plant it in a contained area or a pot, because it will overtake any other plants that are in the area. I use one of those plastic barriers you pound down into the ground to keep my mint in check, and sometimes I still have to get firm with it!

For years I've loved mint as an addition to Tabbouli, but this is now my new favorite mint salad, and is my offering for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Zorra from Kochtopf. If you'd like to join in, here are the rules for Weekend Herb Blogging and where to send your entry.

I was astonished when Merritt told me she made this salad with canned Cannellini beans. Of course, if you have access to dried beans and time to soak and cook them it would be even better. If you use canned beans, rinse well until no more foam appears, then let drain well.

Very finely chopped mint is essential to the success of the dish. Chopping releases the oil in the mint leaves, which flavors the marinade.

Mix the finely chopped mint with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and then mix in beans. Merritt says letting the salad marinate at room temperature for several hours is very important.

Cannellini Beans in Mint Marinade
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe slightly adapted by Merritt from The Vegan Gourmet)

2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and well drained (or use 3 1/2 cups freshly cooked beans.)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup finely minced fresh mint leaves
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Drain beans into colander and rinse well until no more foam appears, then let beans drain until they are fairly dry. (Sometimes I blot dry with paper towels if they don't seem to be dry enough.)

While beans drain, finely chop mint with chef's knife. In a plastic bowl big enough to hold beans, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir in mint, then add beans and gently stir until beans are coated. Allow this to marinate at room temperature for several hours before serving.

The beans will keep in the fridge for several days, but let come to room temperature again and stir before serving leftovers. (I've been eating leftovers for lunch at school this week and can testify that they're great.)

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South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This salad with low-glycemic beans would be great for any phase of the South Beach Diet but be sure to limit serving size for Phase One.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Salads with Mint:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Chopped Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Mint, Feta, Lemon, and Thyme from Kalyn's Kitchen

Middle Eastern Tomato Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen

Cucumber and Avocado Salad with Lime, Mint, and Feta from Kalyn's Kitchen

Lime Quinoa Salad with Mint from Gluten-Free Goddess

Salad with Lime-Mint Dressing from Pinch My Salt

Charred Aubergine, Tomato, and Mint Salad from The Frugal Cook

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  1. Oh yum! That looks wonderful Kalyn - any salad with beans gets my vote anyway. And isn't it amazing how the smallest bit of mint can just lift a dish?

  2. A simple, elegant salad. I love it!

  3. What a great, simple and tasty way to use cannellini beans! I have made similar dishes using basil and tomatoes with them, but never thought of trying mint. Looks delicious!

  4. Even better than dried beans, I spotted some fresh cannellinis at the farmers' market last week. Hopefully they will still be there so I can make something simple and delicious like this salad!

  5. A nice suggestion for using the exuberant mint from my herb garden: thanks!

  6. Lately I've fallen in love with the slow cooker method of cooking beans: don't presoak, just toss the beans into the cooker with water to cover by two inches, and cook for 18 hours on low. And I've got mint galore in my garden, so I will be trying this recipe very soon.

  7. This is so simple,healthy and it..will give this a try soon :)

  8. That is a perfect salad.

    I don't suppose you rehydrate dried cannellinis for this?

  9. I can see why it was a hit. My affinity to mint has been renewed this year.

  10. YES! Thank you Kalyn. There is no way I am not using my RG beans for this. So looking forward to it!

  11. So glad people are liking the idea of this. Without a doubt this is one of the best salads I've ever made with canned beans, and it's my new favorite salad with mint. I don't think I could give it much more of an endorsement.

  12. This looks perfect! I love bean salads, and I am on a quest to use more mint!

  13. Simple and delicious - will have to give it a try! I have a pot of mint and I can attest to just how simple mint is to grow. I've had a pot of it outside for 2 years and have never watered it :-) I originally started with spearmint and peppermint in the same plant pot but the spearmint took over and edged out the last of my peppermint.

  14. Mark Bittman has a very similar recipe using edamame instead of cannellini beans. He shaves some parmesan cheese on top, too, which really ties it together. I might try this variation, but I do love edamame.
    Edamame Salad

  15. looks almost too easy and too yummy! I'll have to try it

  16. i planted mint three years ago and then had to relocated the plant, and shoots *still* come up int he area where it used to be. madness.

    me+ cannellini beans = love

  17. This salad looks wonderfully refreshing!

  18. Again fantastic Kalyn. Beans aren't used so much in salads but I have no idea why not.

  19. Sounds delicious. And what a lovely side dish in the summer...especially because it doesn't require cooking and would be perfect on a picnic!

  20. I'm always looking for more ways to use cannellini beans and this sounds like an excellent one!

    Another simple side that I like is mixing a can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans with some minced garlic, chopped fresh rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper in a saucepan or small skillet. Just let them sit there and blend their flavors, stirring occasionally to help the process along. Then about five minutes before the rest of the meal is ready, turn on the heat to medium low to warm them through, stirring occasionally. No muss, no fuss and delicious!

  21. Glorious! I can never have too many mint recipes. Especially a this time of year. That's two lots of beans you have me soaking so far today.

  22. My parents were quite annoyed with me for giving them a pot of mint without the warning to keep it in the pot!

    This salad looks great. I make a greek potato salad with mint and am told that I go way overboard on the mint. :-) I love it, what can I say?

  23. How on earth do I get so far behind on replying to comments?

    Must be the day job that causes it. I believe teachers are supposed to be actually teaching the kids instead of replying to blog comments during school hours, right. Anyway that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    As far as the topic of "going overboard on the mint," completely impossible in my opinion. The second time I made this I probably used a whole cup of chopped mint.

  24. This can only be grand! I have a craving for Cannellini Beans and mint does grow like a weed. It would take over the lawn if we didn't pull it once a week. Wonderful use for mint.

  25. Yummie, I love all kind of beans. And this combo sound superdelicious.

  26. MMmmmm. Sounds like something to whip up tonight when I'm trying to use up all my garden herbs before tonight's expected hard frost.


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