Tuscan Cannellini Bean and Cipolla Rossa di Tropea Salad

Here’s another lovely salad recipe designed to enjoy outside on sultry summer evenings such as we’re experiencing now. Whenever I come across the universally loved cipolla rossa di Tropea – sweet red onions from the Calabria region of Italy – I am in first in line to buy them. I love their incredible sweetness which makes them perfect for adding to frittatas, pasta dishes, pizzas and focaccia as well as preserving in the form of the infamous onion marmalade which Italians spread atop crisp crostini. I bought mine yesterday from Little Italy in York which, amongst other things, is slowly building up its repertoire of fresh seasonal products from the region. This recipe requires no cooking and will take you around 10 minutes to make. It’s perfect served alongside sumptuous baked feta, freshly baked crusty bread and a glass of very cold white wine.

Italian Bean Salad

Serves 4


1-2 cipolla rossa di Tropea, finely sliced into little rounds (you can also use regular red onions but marinate thin slices in sumac for half an hour before eating)
x2 400g cans of can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
20 ripe mixed colour cherry tomatoes, halved
16 pitted marinated olives, cut in half
30g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to your taste
Two sprigs of dill

How I make it

In a large bowl, gently combine the onions, beans, tomatoes, olives and parsley. Mix together the olive oil and lemon juice to make a simple dressing and add it to the bowl. Mix and season to your taste.

Tumble everything onto a beautiful plate and garnish with dill fronds and the lemon zest.

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