South Arica’s version of the Italian Bean salad made with Cannellini Beans!
For 6-8 generous servings you need
500ml (2 Cups) cooked beans (see cooking below)
125ml good quality olive oil
1-2 shallots or medium red onion, very finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely crushed or grated
15ml chopped parsley
5ml chopped dill or fennel
75ml good quality red or white wine vinegar
Zest of one lemon
50ml lemon juice
Optional: 1-2 red chilli sliced or 5ml chilli flakes
Optional: 3ml fennel seeds
Herbs, whatever you used above, to sprinkle on top
Optional: Add: 3 ripe tomatoes cubed, cubed cucumber, thinly sliced shallot or red onion rings
Add protein to create a main course or starter. I added the beans to my marinated seafood salad. Add cubes of salami or chorizo or strips of grilled chicken, or grilled halloumi cheese.
Add Capers, olives or anchovies
To cook the beans
You ideally need to soak them for about 5 hours or overnight. Then refresh the water and boil them for about 20-30 minutes. If you do not pre-soak them they need to boil for about an hour. Do not salt the water and it retards the softening. In old cookery books a pinch of bicarbonate of soda is added to the water when cooking beans. The alkali helps tenderise the plant fibre, but if you are not careful they become soggy.
To prepare the salad
Mix all the dressing ingredients
Add the beans
This mixture can keep in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days
Add the tomato and herb garnish just before serving