Quick side dishes are my secret for summer cooking. This one can be thrown together quickly and requires minimal heat to prepare. It can also serve as a topping for grilled salmon, steaks or chicken breasts.
The garlic gets stronger as this dish sits, so I prefer to serve it the same day it is made.
The dressing can be processed using an immersion (stick) blender, a mini food processor or a blender, or the ingredients can be finely chopped by hand.
Basil-Oregano White and Black Bean Salad
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves ( 1/2 ounce), coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons loosely packed fresh oregano leaves ( 1/8 ounce)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked, no-salt-added black beans
1 1/2 cups cooked, no-salt-added navy beans
Combine the oil and garlic in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to cook but not brown the garlic; remove from the heat.
While the garlic-oil mixture is cooling, combine it with the vinegar, basil, oregano and sugar in a mini food processor or blender. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.
Combine the dressing with the black beans and navy beans, mixing well to thoroughly coat. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve at room temperature. Makes 4 to 6 servings.