Mediterranean Bean Salad is a light and healthy salad with crisp green beans, garbanzo beans tossed in a light citrus dressing and topped with feta cheese and olives. (Gluten-free and Egg Free)
Why you are going to love our Mediterranean Bean Salad
Mediterranean Bean Salad is a breeze to put together and is packed with protein, vitamins, complex carbohydrates, is gluten-free and is happily a great vegetarian dining option. If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, like me, then just leave out the feta cheese. Feel free to swap out the beans or veggies with any items that you have on hand such as kidney beans, white beans, fava beans or even marinated artichokes. I think you get the idea.
This stifling tropical heat of Hong Kong makes me reminisce about trips to the Mediterranean. You can just picture those beautiful blue-green views of the oceans, brilliant blue skies and cool summer breezes brushing your hair. I feel better already.
A couple of years ago my dear husband brought me on a lovely trip that started off with a short plane ride into Marseille, France where we rented a car and drove along the French and Italian Rivieras and ended in Bologna, Italy. The beautiful views, food, sunsets, people and coast line is something that I will never forget.
One of my favourite things we did along the way is to take a ferry from Cannes to the little island of Ste-Marguerite. We walked along the forest and the aromatic smell of the wild rosemary growing was so romantic. I think rosemary should be an essential oil as it certainly makes one feel happy and hungry too.
My Mediterranean bean salad has dried rosemary that I ground up finely with my mortar and pestle. The smell of the rosemary reminds me of that special day overlooking the beach. Check out the olden day versions of tupperware down below. Trying to find the lid for each ones of these, must have been a nightmare… The French used these vessels to transport food and spices on their long voyages.
We continued our voyage on to Nice, France and enjoyed a delicious bowl of bouillabaisse just by the ocean side. Bouillabaisse would not have this delicious broth if it did not have onions and little bit of garlic and so I added a little bit of onions and garlic in my Mediterranean Bean Salad.
My husband and I drove further along the coast to Levanto, Italy a little sweet town just a little West of Cinque de Terre. I enjoyed so many delicious homestyle cooked Italian dishes that I never wanted to leave. Have you ever tried my Trofie de pesto? In addition, I enjoyed this delicious dish of stuffed aubergines(eggplants) that were out of this world with a touch of oregano. I also added a little touch of oregano to my Mediterranean Bean Salad.
Our final destination on our trip was Bologna, Italy. The farmers market was decorated in homegrown heirloom tomatoes. Do you know that smell that comes from a sweet homegrown tomatoes? The aroma is sweet and fresh and reminds me of living at home and picking tomatoes fresh from the garden. Of course we do not have fresh homegrown tomatoes here in Hong Kong, so my next bet was to use the sweet little Malaysian cherry tomato variety in my Mediterranean Bean Salad.
There are few countries left on my bucket list to visit in the Mediterranean. I long for the fresh air and blue skies and the views of the blue-green ocean once again. I added some Spanish olives and some feta from Greece to my Mediterranean bean salad as well to celebrate my destinations yet to be visited.
This Mediterranean bean salad is even great the day after as it has time for the flavors to mingle and that makes it a great dish to pass. If serving the next day, you may want to just squeeze a little bit of fresh lemon juice just to brighten it up a bit before serving to your guests.
How to Blanch Vegetables
This dish requires very little time to prepare and only uses one very simple cooking technique called blanching. Many of you blanch every day but for those that are not familiar with the word, blanching means to quickly boil your vegetable in salted hot water for a couple of minutes just until slightly tender and then immediately shock the vegetables in a bath of cold ice water to prevent further cooking and it keeps the vegetable very bright and colorful.
If you are looking for Mediterranean Healthy Recipes, you might also enjoy these…
Mediterranean Bean Salad
- 10 oz green beans
Can also us frozen green beans
enough to boil your string beans
- 1 tsp salt
to salt the water bath for blanching
- ice water
enough to soak your green beans after blanching
- 15 oz garbanzo beans
also known as chickpeas
- 1/2 cup edamame shelled- optional
- 1/2 cup olives (or any kind of olives you like)
- 1/2 cup tomatoes
chopped heirloom or sliced cherry tomatoes
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/8 cup onion
- 1 clove garlic peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp rosemary dried ground or fresh
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tbsp cilantro
fresh chopped - optional
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 4 oz feta cheese optional garnish
- Wash and remove the ends from your string beans and cut in half. Fill up your pot half way with water and slat. Bring to a boil. Blanch your string beans for about 2 minutes and remove from boiling water and immediately plunge into iced cold water to stop the cooking process and to keep your beans bright vibrant green.
- In a large bowl add your blanched green beans, garbanzo beans, soy beans olives, tomatoes, lemon juice, olive oil, onions, garlic, rosemary, oregano, cumin, cilantro, salt and pepper and toss. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Garnish with feta cheese and serve. Enjoy