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Garden Lifestyle

Quick and Easy White Bean Salad with Savory

Even though it is not officially summer on the calendar, the weather says otherwise here in Maryland--we are having a heatwave!

  • White Bean Salad makes a cool and easy summer supper served on a bed of greens with summer-ripe tomatoes and cucumbers--or whatever veggies you like. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.
    Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger
  • It's time to harvest savory, Herb of the Year 2015, and use it in the kitchen, dry it or make vinegar. Note the savory I am cutting is creeping savory (see how it sprawls?) while the one upper left is upright winter savory.
    Photo/Illustration: Tomaso
  • Fresh from the garden lettuces, flat-leaved parsley and savory. Picked in the heat of the day they look a bit wilted--a cold wash in the salad spinner will crisp them up again.
    Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger
  • Ingredients for the bean salad. If using canned beans, be sure to drain and rinse them.
    Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger
  • Chopped and prepared ingredients are ready for this quick and easy salad. Mash aboutr half of the bean--if you don't mash some of them to make a paste--the beans have a tendency to bounce out of your sandwich or off your fork.
    Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger
  • A cooling summer supper or lunch with a cold glass of iced tea garnished with garden spearmint. Make a feast with corn-on-the-cob and deviled eggs. Try it--you'll be glad that you did!
    Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger

Even though it is not officially summer on the calendar, the weather says otherwise here in Maryland–we are having a heatwave! I made this recipe as part of my demo for Savory, Herb of the Year 2015 at the USBG and everyone loved it–so I am posting the requested recipe below. It is time to cut your savory back to use and dry or make vinegar now and it will encourage new summer growth.

White Bean Salad

This simple recipe is quick and easy and can be used like tuna fish or chicken salad on sandwiches or a salad plate. It is delicious as a sandwich spread or served on bagels, pitas, or crackers. For a cool summer meal, I also like to make a salad plate with lettuce underneath and a generous dollop of bean salad surrounded by sliced tomato, cucumbers, radishes or carrot sticks, maybe even a deviled egg or two; serve with bread or toast, perhaps rubbed with a little garlic.

Add 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and diced, if you like it spicy. Sometimes I use chickpeas instead of white beans for an equally tasty salad. Serve with a glass of iced tea garnished with lemon and mint, cold beer or white wine.

For those who do not prefer mayonnaise, substitute 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and about 1 generous tablespoon balsamic vinegar or fresh-squeezed lemon juice.


Makes about 2 cups; enough to fill 4 sandwiches or make 3 to 4 salad plates

1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked cannellini or 15-ounce can cannellini or other white beans, drained

About 1/2 cup finely chopped celery (1 stalk)

About 2 to 3 tablespoons finely diced onion

2 to 3 tablespoons minced sweet pickles

1 to 2 tablespoons pickle juice

1 large clove garlic, pressed

3 to 4 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

1 /4 teaspoon Hungarian paprika

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

About 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh minced savory leaves or 1 teaspoon dried, crumbled savory leaves

About 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley

Put the beans in a bowl and mash about half of them with a fork or potato masher. If you don’t mash some of them to make a paste–the beans have a tendency to bounce out of your sandwich. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Blend well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Taste for seasoning before serving; you may need to add a bit more salt, mayonnaise, or a little pickle juice. This will keep in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for 3 or 4 days.

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