Mediterranean-inspired cannellini bean salad

White bean cannellini salad

There was always Sunday supper in my childhood home, although sometimes served mid-afternoon, so that extended family could join us, or so that we all had time afterwards for other activities, like a movie.   I have established the same tradition in my home, and some Sundays call for a relaxed, easy supper in order to make time and conserve energy for an early morning long walk in the neighborhood with our dog, some gardening, some leisurely reading.  Today was one of those days.

Incidentally, I recently met Isabel Laessig, otherwise known as Family Foodie, who is on a mission to bring back Sunday supper gatherings around the table.  Isabel reaches a community of food writers via social media to join her in preparing Sunday suppers and to share their experiences.  Isabel is a driving force behind the Annual Food and Wine Conference 2014, which will occur in Orlando July 18 through July 20 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort.  I am attending and looking forward to seeing Isabel, meeting other food writers and learning more about food writing and photography.

I picked up a beautiful Angus flank steak yesterday at the market, and had many of my favorite ingredients on hand–garlic, olive oil, gorgeous organic lemons, a bunch of fresh mint, fresh oregano in the herb garden, some red wine, and always the makings for a salad.   So, the Sunday supper menu became:

Marinated Grilled Flank Steak

Mediterranean Cannellini Bean Salad

Marinated Flank Steak

Ingredients

Serves 4

Marinating time:  3-4 hours

Grilling time:  8-10 minutes for medium rare

  • 1 pound Angus flank steak
  • 1 cup of red wine (I had some smooth Merlot on hand, so I used it)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a shallow dish and marinate in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
  2. Preheat your gas grill for Direct medium grilling.  Brush some oil on the grates.
  3. Pat the steak dry and grill for 8-10 minutes total for medium rare, turning once halfway through the grilling time.  You can also grill in a grill pan on the stovetop, if you prefer, medium high heat for the same cooking time as on the gas grill.  If you use a grill pan, you can slosh in some red wine and a knob of butter for a quick reduction sauce to drizzle over the flank steak slices.
  4. Allow the steak to rest for about 5 minutes on your carving board, and then cut across the grain into diagonal slices.

Mediterranean Cannellini Bean Salad 

Serves 4

Prep time: 5-10 minutes

Ingredients:

2-15 ounce cans of cannellini beans, drained

  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 bunch mint, chopped (small bunch)
  • 1 bunch flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Spring mix for salad base
  • 2 tomatoes, diced

2 roasted red peppers, sliced into strips (When red peppers are plentiful, I roast them and keep them in the refrigerator coated with olive oil. You can use jarred roasted red peppers)

Manchego cheese, 3 or 4 ounces to shave over the salad

Method:

Combine the beans, herbs, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil in a medium size bowl, and add salt ad pepper to taste. This salad improves with time for the flavors to intensify, so make this early in the day ad refrigerate until serving time.  Place a generous handful of spring mix onto each plate and top with the cannellini bean salad, dividing it evenly for 4 people. Top the salad with roasted red pepper strips, diced tomatoes, and shavings of cheese.  Perhaps some freshly ground pepper….

Serve with a robust red wine, and relax!

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