Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Butter Bean Salad

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I love butter beans. Growing up, we had what we called lima beans as a side dish at least twice a week. My mother would drain the lima beans (always from a can – never fresh in those days), heat them up and serve them with butter. I used to mash up the beans on my plate, incorporating their silky butter coating into a butter bean mash. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was creating one of my favorite ways to serve butter beans (and most beans for that matter) - whizzed with a little butter and served as a side dish in place of mashed potatoes.

The other way I serve butter beans is in a cold, deli-style salad. I make healthy, hopefully delicious, deli-style salads almost every Sunday. I whip up a large batch and bring it with me to work for a week’s worth of lunches.

This butter bean salad is very simple to make and holds up well (actually improving in flavor) after a few days in the refrigerator. Beans, tuna, a little lemon for brightness and green onions are the stars. Add salt, pepper and olive oil and you have a great salad that will keep you fed throughout the week.

I like this salad just on its own, but I added some toasted, garlic-rubbed slices of baguette for a little more heartiness for the boyfriend. It would also be great served over a bed of lettuce or added to pasta for a cold pasta salad.

Butter Bean Salad
Serves 3 – 4

1 can butter beans
2 cans solid white tuna (I use water packed)
Zest of one lemon
Juice from one lemon
2 – 3 T of extra virgin olive oil
4 green onions, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
½ t salt
¼ t of freshly ground pepper

Drain and rinse the butter beans. Drain the tuna. In a medium bowl combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 T of olive oil, the onions and salt and pepper. Taste the dressing and if it is too tangy from the lemon, add an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Add the tuna and beans to the dressing and stir until combined.

19 comments:

cristi said...

Nice recipe. Here in Italy butter beans are traditionally cooked and served with oil and sage. You could try...

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Nice! My mom makes something similar but uses chickpeas or chipilo beans. Sounds great.

Tracy said...

Growing up, we always ate butter beans. And I like the idea of pairing them with tuna very much. It not only tastes good, but it stretches both the tuna and the beans. I really need to make more bean salads for lunch...this will go on my to-do list for this weekend.

Victoria said...

oh i just love butter beans...well any beans really...this looks lovely and defo a summer picnic staple!!! yum!

Diana said...

I love this idea for a quick lunch - especially since all the ingredients can most likely already be found in one's cabinet!

sweetlife said...

great recipe, I have not had butter beans in awhile..I bet this does get tastier and tastier..looks great

sweetlife

dana said...

lovely salad! i love the bean mash, too. especially with caramelized onions on top. and bacon. or sausage. not too healthy, but so delicious!

Tender Branson said...

Lima beans are great, I love how you put them on top of baguette.

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

This dish is just my style. I need to find some dried butter beans. I've only seen canned so far...

Hungry Dog said...

How interesting! I've never done anything with butter beans before. I love that name: butter beans just SOUNDS cute (and delicious).

Crazy Sweet Life said...

Hmmm. How is it I've never tried butter beans before?!? This looks so tasty! I'm going to make it this weekend.

Sydney said...

Yum I love those beans too. They are so soft and buttery and great with just a touch of olive oil and sea salt! They look great with tuna as well. Yum! http://thetastysidetolife.blogspot.com/

agrigirl said...

I also love beans and this dish looks so easy. Great photo too!

croquecamille said...

Looks so simple and satisfying - perfect for picnics or weekday lunches!

Kath said...

It sounds delicious, especially spread onto garlic rubbed baguette. I am drooling at the thought.

jancd said...

I am 62 and have never heard of butter bean salad. I made it today and think I'm going to be making again. It was very tasty when I put it together and have hopes it will be even better after it gets cold in the refrig. Thanks for the recipe.

Pam said...

Oh my gosh! I've never heard of butter bean salad but have to try it. It sounds delicious and thanks for the great recipe!

emiglia said...

I loved lima beans growing up! In Spain, they come in jars and I eat them cold and plain... one of my vices :)

elra said...

Delicious combo, perfect to enjoy for lunch in the garden.