I’ve been meaning to make this salad for a while now. In fact, when we sat down to lunch, Aleks said, ‘I hope this salad lives up to your expectations…there’s been a lot of anticipation building up this week!’ I first tried this salad at brunch at Le Pain Quotidien. They call it ‘Tuscan Bean Salad.’ I’m not sure what is tuscan about it, but it was so delicious, that I made it at home two days later. So, when I had a bit of prosciutto left over after wrapping a few scallops last week, I knew exactly what I wanted to make. So, I bought some arugula and whipped up a small batch of pesto. Then I realized I hadn’t soaked any beans and my emergency stash of canned beans was already depleted. So, Aleks cooked a pot of white beans before work, and I grabbed a tomato on my way home. Finally, I thought I had everything–arugula, prosciutto, white beans, pesto, parmesan…except bread. So, on our way home today, we stopped by Panera and grabbed a loaf of crusty sourdough and at last, we enjoyed one of my favorite salads for lunch.
One of the best things about this salad is that it’s hearty. Even Aleks was satisfied after having ‘just a salad’ for lunch! Every bite combines firm toothieness of beans, the slightly bitter taste of arugula, the crunchiness of the bread, saltiness of the prosciutto and parmesan and the buttery goodness of pesto. It’s perfect for lunch or brunch!
White Bean and Prosciutto Salad
4 cups of arugula, washed, dried and torn into bite sized pieces
1.5 cups white beans, cooked and chilled
2 large slices of prosciutto, sliced into smaller pieces
1 roma tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon pesto
2 slices crusty bread
3-4 very thin slices of parmesan cheese
In a small bowl, carefully mix together the white beans, tomato, and pesto until the beans are well coated. Divide the arugula evenly between two plates. Lightly spoon the beans into the center of the arugula. Garnish with prosciutto, parmesan, salt and pepper. Lightly toast the bread and then tear it into bite sized pieces. Scatter the bread over the salad and drizzle with olive oil. Enjoy!