YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Fresh Herbs with Cannellini Beans

What makes this an unusual salad is that the herbs in this recipe play a leading role, complementing the cannellini (small white) beans as equal partners instead of minor players. Think of the herbs in this recipe more as greens than flavor enhancers. It’s a great way to use large amounts of fresh herbs from the garden. It’s super easy, super delicious, and super nutritious; herbs are known to have extremely high levels of phytonutrients.

If you don’t have access to fresh, you have three options: plant some now, beg some from a friend, or check to see if your local grocery store carries any. They are usually in the produce section.

Early this past Friday evening, I went outside with a pair of scissors and a large bowl, and cut:
two big bunches of chives (each about 1 inch diameter)
two long sprigs of oregano
one sprig of rosemary
8 leaves each of mint and basil.

Rinse the herbs, pull off the leaves, and remove any brown bits. Lay the chives parallel in one large bunch, and slice them into very small (1/4 inch) pieces. Chop up the other herbs into one little mound until their fragrance fills the air. Scrape everything back into the bowl, and add:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
Stir until the herbs are well coated.

Empty one 15-ounce can of cannellini beans into a strainer, and rinse well until the water runs clear. Add to the herbs, and mix well. Allow the salad to sit at room temperature for a little while (30-60 min) to blend the flavors. Serves 6.

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