Recipe: Heirloom Bean and Tomato Salad

Heirloom Bean and Tomato Salad

This easy, perfectly seasonal salad from The Auntie Em's Cookbook tastes so good you will -- wait for it -- forget it's extremely healthy and full of nutrients, too. The author of the book run Auntie Em's in Eagle Rock, a cafe known and beloved for straightforward, ingredient-driven dishes such as this one.

Heirloom Bean and Tomato Salad
Serves 6 as a side

- 1 cup dried heirloom bean, such as cannellini, flageolet, or cranberry, soaked in water for at least 4 hours and drained
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 4 small sprigs of rosemary
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 small yellow onion, quartered
- 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 3 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 pound multi-colored heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut in half or large heirloom tomatoes chopped into ½ inch dice
- ½ cup roughly chopped basil
- 2 sprigs oregano, leaves only, roughly chopped

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Place beans in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot and cover with 6 to 8 cups cold water, enough to cover the beans by 2 inches. Add thyme, rosemary, garlic, onion, celery and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook until beans are tender, about 1 hour, occasionally skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Cooking time varies depending on the freshness of your beans. Remove from heat and allow beans to cool completely in broth.

In a large bowl, combine shallots, anchovies, vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil until vinaigrette is emulsified. Drain cooled beans and add them to the bowl. Add tomatoes and lightly toss vegetables with the dressing. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

Fold in basil and oregano and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

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