Bean Salad with Veggies and Fresh Herbs

Bean Salad with veggies and fresh herbs makes a delicious meal with farmers market remnants. Shop the Wednesday Larchmont Farmers Market, open today from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


This week I found my fridge devoid of what seemed like a complete meal. In the produce drawer were the last remnants of my previous farmers market shop staring up at me warning, “don’t forget about us, we’re not going to last too much longer.” Just a few cucumbers, a bell pepper, the core of the celery, and a variety of fresh herbs. Some of my usual produce drawer staples down to the bare minimum.


A few left over veggies from the farmers market are perfect in this bean salad.


It wasn’t the first time, and I’m sure not the last, that I had to rely on my culinary creative juices to get something on the table.

Luckily, I have a well-stocked pantry, thanks to awaiting the big one. After my first earthquake experience, I learned to always have plenty of canned goods, etc, just in case. Now that I’m vegan, that includes a wide variety of canned and dried beans, canned vegetables and fruits, dried pasta, crackers, nut butters, jams, boxes of vegetable stock, and other nonperishable items. And as a recipe creator I keep a variety of oils and vinegars and aromatics, (onions, shallots and garlic) always on hand.

I had plenty to choose from! The key was to choose the right pantry basics to suit my fridge basics. The vegetables I had were all crispy and crunchy. I wanted something to counter that texture. The pepper was bright red, so I wanted that to stand out visually. I chose 2 cans of cannellini beans, a red onion, and the makings of a garlic/herb dressing. The white, creamy and mild beans would play well against the crunchy veggies in taste, texture and appearance. I knew that the dressing would need a good pop of acid, so I chose sherry wine vinegar for its rich taste. Extra virgin olive oil, a no brainer. The garlic and onion would add a sharp bite to the mild beans and veggies.

Or so I hoped!

And the result? Exactly as I imagined in my mind. Lots of flavors and textures that all paired well together. Now, I could have made this salad my dinner, but not my hubby. He wants a full plate of food. More luck, I had a package of plant-based hot dogs along with a jar of sauerkraut in the fridge and buns in the freezer! Dinner is served! It turned out to be a great spontaneous meal. One that I will plan ahead for in the future.

Please note that salads like this are not set in stone. Use whatever ingredients in whatever quantity works best for your taste buds…or whatever you have in your fridge and pantry.


Bean Salad with Veggies and Fresh Herbs:

2 cans cannellini beans
1 large bell pepper, small dice
2 Persian cucumbers, small dice
½ cup diced celery
½ red onion, diced
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
2 T chopped fresh dill
Garlic Thyme Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Fresh cracked black pepper

Make the dressing first, so that the garlic and thyme can have time to marinate and develop flavor, and set aside. Rinse and drain the cannellini beans in a strainer, and set aside. Dice up all of the vegetables and chop the herbs. Toss together in a large bowl. Add the beans and toss again, gently, being careful not to break down the beans. Add dressing, a bit at a time, to taste. Top with a few good cracks of black pepper. Let the salad marinate on the counter for half an hour or, if longer, in the fridge until ready to serve. It’s delicious the next day as well. I don’t recommend storing in the fridge more than 2 days.


Garlic Thyme Vinaigrette:

¼ cup sherry wine vinegar
¼ – ½ tsp salt or to taste
¾ tsp Dijon mustard
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, grated
3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and chopped up
½ cup EVOO

Dissolve the salt in the vinegar using a small whisk. Add the mustard and whisk to combine. Stir in the garlic and thyme and combine. Slowly whisk in the oil until the dressing is emulsified. Taste for seasoning. You won’t need this much dressing for this salad. Store any leftovers in the fridge. Delicious on mixed greens as well.


Pantry staples like these make a delicious meal of bean salad and left over veggies.


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About Deborah Brooks

Deborah is currently a documentary film producer. She is also a former certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition coach. The shutdown of business due to Covid-19 and the implication of an animal wet market connection caused her to rethink her high animal protein food lifestyle. She has spent the last year exploring the world of plant based eating for her own health as well as the health of the planet and all of its sentient beings. Her recipes can be found on Instagram. She would love you to follow along on her journey.

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