White Bean Salad with Peppers, Goat Cheese, and Mint



Joanne Weir Cooking Class Second SeasonThis could easily qualify as a meal in itself. A loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, a picnic blanket, and some sunshine, and you have everything you need for a summer lunch in the vineyards. Note that the dried beans must soak for at least four hours before using.

1 cup dried white beans
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons red wine vinegar,
plus more if needed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and
cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded,
and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and
cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 garlic clove, minced
5 ounces fresh goat cheese, for topping
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, cut into thin strips,
for garnish

Pick over the beans and discard any stones or damaged ones. Cover with plenty of cold water and let soak for 4 hours or overnight. Place the beans in a saucepan with plenty of water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to low and simmer until the skins just begin to crack and the beans are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Drain the beans.

In the meantime, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar to make a vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add to the warm beans and let sit until the beans cool.
When the beans have cooled, add the diced peppers, onion, and garlic and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and additional vinegar, if needed.

To serve, place the beans in a serving bowl and crumble the cheese over the top. Garnish with the mint and serve.

Serves 6

TO DRINK: Sauvignon Blanc