May 20, 2012

Zucchini Tomato and Cannelini Bean Salad

White pepper is not only lighter in color, but also milder in flavor than black pepper and is something you should definitely experiment with.  This recipe calls for white pepper and two kinds of vinegar but it will still taste delicious if you have to use regular black pepper and only one kind of vinegar.  This salad is perfect for packing up and eating at the office or on a picnic.  Bring a little Italian feast with you wherever you go.

Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup cannelini beans, washed and drained
7 grape tomatoes, left whole
1 small zucchini, cut into ½ inch discs
1/2 small shallot, minced
3 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for sprinkling
6 turns fresh cracked white pepper
4 large leaves basil, sliced thinly
4-5 thin slices aged parmesan cheese

In a small bowl add shallots, balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, white pepper, ¼ teaspoon of the salt and 2 teaspoons of the olive oil.  Whisk well with a fork and set aside.

Heat up remaining 1 teaspoon of  olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle the discs of zucchini with salt and sear them in the pan on both sides to a golden brown color.  Throw zucchini in a mixing bowl and immediately add in the grape tomatoes, beans and dressing, toss and let cool. 

Once cool, add in basil and parmesan cheese, toss again and serve or store in an airtight container for the next day.

Double the dressing amount and toss in a single portion of cooled cooked pasta for a pasta salad
Double the dressing amount and toss in cous cous or rice
Pile on top of toasted crusty bread, garlic bread or crackers

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