White Beans and Fresh Herbs

July 17, 2013

White Beans with Fresh Herbs

This simple combination of ingredients has become my saving grace. I make Pan-Fried White Beans and Greens at least once or twice a month. It’s an absolute weeknight staple in our house and we devour it. But as many times as I’ve made that dish, I always soak and cook too many beans and am left with a giant pile. I’ve found that cooked beans don’t last especially well and so I’ve wasted them more times than I’m really happy to admit.

White Beans with Fresh Herbs

Molly Katzen has single-handedly saved me and my beans from that fate with this little recipe. It’s so simple as to be a fantastic reminder that smaller – lighter – less – are often the best things to focus on when it comes to food. There are no bells and whistles to this salad – no other vegetables at all in fact – just a jumble of fresh herbs and some olive oil and acid. It makes a really great lunch salad and I imagine a buttered hunk of crusty bread would go well but it’s quite filling alone.

I typically throw in some lemon zest and chopped walnuts because (you guessed it) I have them left over from the¬†Pan-Fried White Beans and Greens. You don’t have to include them but they certainly add a nice touch.

White Beans and Fresh Herbs

White Beans and Fresh Herbs
adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen


  • 1.5 cups dry white beans
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Small handful walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • Lemon zest from about 1/2 ¬†lemon
  • 1/2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
  • Large pinch of salt
  • Lots of freshly ground black pepper


  1. Soak beans: place dried beans in a large pot and cover with about 3 inches of cold water. Set aside to soak for at least eight hours or overnight.
  2. Drain soaked beans and return to pot. Cover generously with water and bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for about 1 – 1.5 hours, adding water as necessary and stirring occasionally, until tender.
  3. Once beans are done, drain and place them in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Add remaining ingredients to the beans and mix gently. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Cover tightly and chill until cold.
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