Cannellini beans with chicken and tomatoes

(Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff/file 2007)
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July 16, 2008

Serves 4

In our house, this is clean-the-fridge summer salad. It begins with canned cannellini beans and some fresh herbs - thyme, basil, or parsley. Add a generous splash of good vinegar and olive oil and set the beans aside for an hour or refrigerate them for half a day. Then add cherry or regular tomatoes, a handful of olives, leftover roast or grilled chicken, or pieces of steak or fish. Toss with lightly cooked green beans, scallions or onion, and steamed zucchini or yellow squash or cucumber.

2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini (white kidney beans)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, basil, or parsley
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, or to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered or 2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup pitted black or green olives
3 cups boneless cooked, cut-up chicken, steak, or fish
1/4 pound green beans, lightly steamed or 2 cups leftover cooked zucchini or yellow squash
3 scallions, thinly sliced
3 Armenian or pickling cukes, thinly sliced
1. Drain the beans into a strainer and rinse with cold water. Tap the strainer to remove the excess liquid. Tip the beans into a bowl. Add thyme, basil, or parsley, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

2. Stir well. Cover and set aside for 1 hour or refrigerate for up to half a day.

3. Add the tomatoes, olives, and chicken, steak, or fish. Cut the beans, zucchini, or squash in half. Add them to the bean mixture with the scallions and cukes.

4. Stir gently but thoroughly. Taste for seasoning, add more salt, pepper, or vinegar, if you like. Sheryl Julian

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