Everybody's got the fever
That is somethin' you all know
Fever isn't such a new thing
Fever started long ago
- You Give Me Fever by Peggy Lee
Everybody's got their own favorite season for foods, whether it's meat braising on the stove, promising warmth and comfort after a day skiing in perfect powder or a pile of fresh fava beans in the spring, simply dressed with olive oil, mint and a shower of salt.
For me it's tomatoes, particularly the first of the summer's heirloom varieties, that I long for every year. With names like Purple Cherokee, Green Zebra and French Carmello, there's nothing like their cool, sweet, acidic bite, eaten out of hand right off the vine, sliced in a myriad of salads or simply chopped and spooned onto toasted bread.
This salad is perfect as a side with grilled meats, or could also be used for topping crostini for a cool, refreshing appetizer. With some chunks of oiled and grilled bread mixed in it makes a great panzanella, and you could add cucumber as well. Any tomatoes will work, but a mix of colors and shapes make it tastier and more fun.
Tuscan Tomato White Bean Salad
Adapted from The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook and Read-N-Eat.com
2-3 c. diced tomatoes
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4-6 small cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. fresh basil, chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
2 15-oz. cans (or 3 c.) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Combine ingredients in a large salad bow. Toss gently to combine. Best made about an hour ahead of time so the garlic and herb flavors will meld.