White Beans with Radishes, Tomatoes, and Mint

If you need to be inspired by a true underdog story today, look no further!

This is the story of a meek and humble side dish stealing the dinner show. 

Did I just disappoint you?   Sorry.  I could tell you about how lately I feel like the underdog at work, where I routinely battle for project success against all odds.  But that's boring.  And no one likes a whiner!  Right, Mom?

Dinner stories are more fun to talk about anyway.  Especially when they involve fresh mint, colorful veggies, and hearty beans.  And we're just talking about the side dish!  You know, that section of the plate usually reserved for the underdog: boring rice or a sad ol' baked potato.

I found this quick and delicious recipe while perusing through some spring/summer recipe ideas, and I thought it would be the perfect accompaniment to herb-marinated grilled chicken.  And I was right, except that calling this recipe an "accompaniment" isn't completely fair.  It's the star!

And the star ingredient of the star recipe is the mint.  There's something about the smell of fresh mint that immediately transports my brain to mid-summer, beachy Happy Hour.  I think it's because I made my husband (who was my servant boyfriend at the time) drive to three different grocery stores looking for mint because I really wanted a Mojito on my birthday one year.

God love him, he found it, and I was happy.  I had a wicked sunburn that day, too, so I don't even want to know how things would have turned out had he not come home with the fresh stuff.  They say there's a lid for every pot.  In more ways than this he's the patient lid to my bratty pot.


Mint and citrus are a genius combination here.  A little peculiar.  A little unexpected and tropical.  A little like finding 20 bucks in your beach bag from last summer, and blowing it all on fruity Mojitos.  Does that make sense?  It does in my head.

This hearty white bean salad came together in minutes, so I had plenty of time to let the citrus vinaigrette marry with the veggies and beans before dinner.  I served it along with chicken that I marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, and chopped rosemary and thyme, and then grilled.  Scrumptious and healthy!

It's ok to let the underdog side dish shine once in awhile.  We're all grownups here, we can handle it.

White Beans
Radishes, Tomatoes, and Mint
Adapted from Super Fresh and Simple Meals
Yields 4 servings

3 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2-15 oz cans cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
2 c grape tomatoes, halved
1 c radishes, thinly sliced (about 8)
1 small shallot, diced
1/4 c fresh mint, chopped

Combine the lemon juice, vinegar, and oil in a small bowl, and stir well with a whisk.

Combine the beans, tomatoes, and next 4 ingredients (through salt/pepper) in a medium bowl.

Drizzle juice mixture over the salad, tossing to coat.  Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

As a suggestion, serve with grilled chicken or pork and hearty flatbread.

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