Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cannellini Salad

Ok, so since I am single and I eat simple when cooking for one, here is one of my favorites. Cannellini Salad. There are several different variations of this salad that I make or swap out the beans for another, like chick peas. Start with a can of Cannellini beans (white kidney beans) and drain them well. I usually drain and rinse mine in a strainer to remove the starchy liquid.

Next I add a can of artichoke hearts which are already halved. I slice them in half again, so now they are quartered. These ones are packed in water but will often use the marinated artichoke hearts.
Then one of my favorites-OLIVES! Today I used Kalamata, but feel free to swap these with your favorite or black is always a good choice.

Mmmm, then I add fresh mozzarella. Ciliegine! I love these from Trader Joe's because they are small and round. I usually slice them in half so they are more bite size.

Next is to dice up a fresh tomato like this beauty below. This tomato was grown by my good friend James. I better get some gardening tips from him so my tomatoes will look like this next year!

Today I choose to add some basil I was growing. Usually I use fresh flat leaf parsley but didn't have any on had so basil was the winner. After washing the leaves, I gently stack the leaves together. Then roll them up into a tight little wrap and slice thinly.

Lastly is to season with Salt & Pepper and drizzle generously with EVOO. As an alternative you can use a good quality Italian dressing or your own favorite vinaigrette. The possibilities are endless. I think that is why I like to cook more than bake! Baking is precise measuring and not too much flexibility with the ingredients. With cooking, you rarely need to follow a recipe to a T!

Gently toss all ingredients together. Then grab a cute little bowl to enjoy your salad in!


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