White Bean and Tomato Salad


Look for different sizes, colors, and varieties of tomatoes for the most interesting and delicious salad.


  • 1 ½ pounds dried French navy or great Northern beans

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 medium leeks, white and pale-green parts only

  • 1 small fennel bulb

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped

  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced

  • 1 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped

  • 1 bunch fresh oregano, finely chopped

  • ½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves only

  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, (4 lemons)

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 5 tomatoes, (1 ¾ pounds), each cut into 8 wedges


  1. Place beans and 2 1/2 quarts water in a medium stockpot; set over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. When beans are almost done, add 1 teaspoon salt. Continue cooking until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander. Transfer to a large bowl, and set aside.

  2. Cut leeks in half lengthwise, and place under running water to remove dirt between the layers. Pat dry, and cut leeks crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Cut fennel bulb in half lengthwise, and remove core. Cut into 1-inch wedges, and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices, including stalks.

  3. Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add leeks and fennel, and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and add to the reserved beans. Add red onion, cucumbers, chives, oregano, and parsley; toss to combine. Add remaining 1/2 cup olive oil and the lemon juice, remaining teaspoon salt, and pepper; toss to combine.

  4. Arrange tomato wedges around the border of a large platter. Spoon the bean mixture into the center of the platter; serve.

Cook's Notes

Heirloom tomatoes, such as Brandywine, German Striped, and Green Zebra, make a particularly colorful platter, but any combination of tomatoes may be used.

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