This is my contribution to Eating with the Season, a food event hosted by Maninas.
Cannellini Bean and Grape Tomato Salad with Lemon Dressing and Rosemary-Garlic Infused Olive Oil
2/3 cup dried cannellini (white kidney) beans
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
large handful fresh parsley, trimmed
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
3 garlic cloves, peeled and slightly mashed
1 teaspoon lemon zest
juice from 1 lemon
fresh ground black pepper
Rinse the cannellini beans under cold running water and soak overnight covered in several inches of cold water with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice added. Drain the beans and cover again with cold water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are soft but not falling apart. Drain and set aside to cool.
Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat with the sprig of rosemary and the garlic. Once the rosemary begins to sizzle, just a few minutes, remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes to let the flavours of rosemary and garlic infuse the oil.
Discard the sprig of rosemary and remove the garlic from the oil. Set aside the oil and add the garlic to a small food processor along with the lemon zest and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Season with pepper.
Drizzle the dressing over the beans and let stand for a few minutes for the flavours to absorb. Gently fold in the tomatoes, parsley, Parmesan cheese and the reserved olive oil, and serve.
Serves 4 to 6.