When soaked in garlic and shallot-infused olive oil and tossed with lots of fresh herbs, plump white beans transform into a delicious multi-purpose dish. Bring them to a picnic, pile them onto thick slices of toast for dinner, or toss with cooked grains for a hearty and satisfying lunch.
This is just the kind of staple worth having on hand all summer long, when light, no-cook meals are the priority and effortless eating is on everyone's mind. These beans let you quit worrying about what's for lunch or dinner so that you can spend more time lounging on the porch.
An Easy, No-Cook Recipe That Gets Better as It Sits
What makes these beans extra special is that their flavor improves the longer they sit. After mixing everything together, you'll throw 'em in the fridge to soak up all the buttery olive oil and fresh herb flavor. After a few days, you'll return to a multipurpose dish that's light, fresh, and satisfying.
The beans are wonderful spooned onto toast or used to bulk up a salad, but I especially love them tossed with cooked farro or brown rice, because the garlicky oil coats each grain. They'd also be a nice accompaniment to grilled steak or sausages. Or, you could just go ahead and eat them by the spoonful — they're really that good.
Marinated White Beans
Makes 3 cups; serves 4 to 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon
Juice of 1 medium lemon
medium shallot, diced (about 1/4 cup)
garlic, grated or minced
kosher salt, plus more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
2 (15-ounce) cans
cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
chopped fresh oregano leaves
Place the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, shallot, garlic, salt, and few generous grinds of black pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the white beans, parsley, and oregano and toss to combine. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or overnight. Let come to room temperature before serving.
Make ahead: These beans get better with time, so feel free to make them up to 2 days ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.
Serving suggestions: The beans can be enjoyed as is, piled on toast, tossed with cooked grains, or served over salads.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.