Cannellini Bean Salad with Parsley or Basil Pesto

Cannellini Bean Salad with Parsley or Basil Pesto

Makes 6 servings


  • 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans
  • 3 tbsp plus 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced yellow onions
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1/3 cup very finely grated Parmesan, or crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh parsley or basil leaves


  1. Toasted pita bread triangles or 1/2-inch thick lightly toasted French bread
  2. Place the beans in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the drained beans, 4 teaspoons of the lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, the black pepper and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until softened and warmed through, 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer to a decorative platter. Sprinkle with the Parmesan.
  4. In a blender or bowl of a small food processor, combine the parsley or basil, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a blender or small food processor. Process on high speed for 30 seconds. Add the remaining 1/3 cup oil with the motor running and process until smooth. Adjust seasoning, to taste.
  5. Drizzle the parsley pesto over the beans and serve with the toast for dipping