Tuscan Bean and Tomato Salad

TuscanbeanTransport yourself to the sun-drenched Italian coast with this vibrant summer salad. Fresh lemon, garlic and basil lend some gusto to a colourful assortment of vegetables.

This bright and healthful side is brought to you by our culinary arts program, Cooking for Life, which prepares homeless youth for a career in hospitality.

For a twist, our chef instructor recommends adding your favourite summer vegetables or sundried tomatoes for a more intense flavour. You could also mix in your favourite cooked pasta for a heartier salad. Or add this salad as a garnish to a warm, grilled piece of chicken or fish.


Ingredients for Salad

Beans, white, navy or Tuscan, canned, drained, rinsed 12 ounce (approx 1 can, 14 oz)
Tomatoes, Ontario vine ripened 3 each
Ricotta or feta cheese, drained, crumbled 6-ounce container
Yellow bell pepper, seeded, diced 1 each
Red bell pepper, seeded, diced 1 each
Sweet red onion, thinly sliced 1 each
Black olives, Sicilian, sundried, pitted ¼ cup
Basil, fresh, chopped 1 bunch
Italian parsley, flat, chopped ½ bunch

Ingredients for Dressing

Garlic, fresh, minced 1 clove
Lemon, fresh, squeezed 1 each
Olive oil, extra virgin 120 ml
Red vinegar 45 ml
Salt to taste
Black pepper, coarsely ground to taste


4 to 6 portions


  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing and whisk until mixed thoroughly.
  2. Marinate peppers, onion, and tomatoes in the dressing.
  3. Add the beans, olives, parsley and basil to the marinated vegetables.
  4. Garnish with the crumbled ricotta or feta cheese.
  5. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  6. Plate on a bed of lettuce.

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