Herby marinated white beans
This recipe is inspired by a dish my dad makes with the creamy white beans that he grows in his garden. It’s low maintenance and big on flavor, which makes it perfect for summer dinner parties or even Sunday meal prep. Here, white beans are tossed in a vinaigrette with shallots, lemon, vinegar, fresh marjoram, and extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately or pop into the fridge– as the beans sit the dressing marinates them and lends incredible flavor. Enjoy on their own as a salad, fold into greens, like arugula, with roasted salmon or chicken, spoon over crusty toasted bread, and more. I recommend using a creamy white bean like Primary Beans Ayocote Blanco beans, which hold their shape well in salads and can stand up to a punchy vinaigrette.
–Annie Lucey (annielucey.com)
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What you'll need
- 1 lb dried Ayocote Blanco beans, or other Primary Beans creamy white bean, such as Cannellini
- 1-½ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt (halve the amount if using Morton kosher salt)
- ½ large yellow onion, root intact
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Sprigs of fresh herbs, such as marjoram or oregano
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp vinegar, preferably red wine or champagne
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped (fresh oregano works as well)
Cook the beans: Add beans to Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed stock pot. Cover with several inches of water to submerge beans, and add kosher salt, onion, garlic, bay leaves, olive oil, and fresh herbs. Gently stir to combine. Over medium high heat, bring water to a simmer. Immediately bring to low-medium heat to keep on low simmer, uncovered, and cook until beans are tender, gently stirring occasionally. Cooking time will vary depending on variety of bean, freshness, etc. For unsoaked Ayocote Blanco beans, the stovetop method took about 2 hours, but can be more or less. See the Primary Beans cooking guide for an Instant Pot shortcut if desired. Once beans are cooked and tender, discard aromatics, drain beans, and let cool.
Cool the beans + make the vinaigrette: While beans cool, prepare the vinaigrette in same bowl you’ll use for serving. To large bowl, add shallot, lemon zest and juice, vinegar, and few generous pinches kosher salt. Stir and let sit for about 5 minutes. Fold in the herbs, and slowly whisk in the olive oil to combine. Season with freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
Assemble + serve: Gently fold beans into vinaigrette, and season to taste with additional kosher salt if needed to bring out flavors. Serve immediately, or pop in fridge and enjoy at a later time (the beans will take on the flavor of the vinaigrette as they sit). Enjoy on their own, folded into an arugula salad alongside roasted salmon or chicken, or on crusty toasted bread.
This recipe is part of our Food Memories series.