Arugula and white bean salad

One Saturday morning we found this recipe while looking to see what was going to be on the Barefoot Contessa show the next morning.  The dish name caught Hubby’s eye and he decided to give it a try, even before she demonstrated it on her show.  So the results might be a little different than hers, especially since we used canned beans and she started out with dried beans.
It was a welcome change to dinner salads this winter.  I can’t wait to try it out this summer, on a nice warm summer day when we can have dinners on the patio.    This salad was the side dish to our veal casserole, served with roasted butternut squash and my homemade chocolate pudding. 


Arugula and White Bean Salad

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa


2 cans cannellini beans, drained
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup good olive oil
1 red onion, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick half-rounds
2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and small-diced
4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, small-diced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces baby arugula


Drain the beans, rinse under cold water, and drain again. Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the red onion and sauté over medium-low heat for 7 to 9 minutes, until wilted. Add the beans and enough water to cover them by 3 inches. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 45 minutes, until tender. Drain the beans and onions and transfer to a mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, heat the 1/2 cup of olive oil in a 10- to 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and prosciutto and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until fragrant. Pour the hot oil mixture over the warm drained beans, tossing well. Allow to cool for 10 minutes only. While still warm, stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Place in a large, shallow serving bowl, surround with arugula, taste for seasonings, and serve warm or at room temperature.

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