Adding fresh herbs to a dish is one of the fastest and easiest ways to add flavor without piling on calories. Sure, dried herbs are great because they can last in your spice rack for months or even years, but they tend to add a deep, rich background note to dishes. Fresh herbs, on the other hand, offer a bright, fresh, green flavor to any dish.
Especially during the summer, your choice of herbs to use are endless. There’s woody, almost pine-like rosemary, perfect for lamb or pork. There’s tiny-leaved, lemon-scented thyme. Try adding it to rice for an amazing pop of flavor. Sprinkle chopped chives on top of any potato dish from baked to mashed to potato salad for just enough oniony flavor. For a real surprise, finely chop flat-leafed parsley and toss it with your salad greens. It’s important to get flat-leaf parsley, not the curly kind you usually find as a garnish, which is usually bland and tastes vaguely of grass. Flat-leaf parsley, on the other hand, has a slightly bitter, robust flavor that adds new layers of flavor to almost any dish.
But when it comes to summertime herbs, basil is queen. Whether you’re using whole leaves on a pizza or dicing it finely for a tomato salad, its sweet flavor and strong aroma just scream summer. In this recipe, we’ve combined it with nutty white beans, sweet peas and crunchy corn. The basil is the secret ingredient, elevating this warm salad from good to “can I have that recipe?”
So grab some fresh herbs, get your chiffonade on and get cooking.
White Bean Salad with Basil Dressing
- 12 oz bag of frozen peas
- 2 ½ cups of frozen corn
- 2 1/8 cups of Randall Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Juice of half a large lemon
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ red onion, diced
- 15-20 basil leaves, chopped, with a few left for garnish
In a large skillet, add frozen peas and corn and heat on medium, covered, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are thawed and warmed through.
Meanwhile, pour the olive oil in a glass measuring cup. Add the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, red onion and basil leaves. Whisk to combine.
When the peas and corn have warmed through, turn off the heat and add the Randall Great Northern Beans and stir. Pour the dressing into the skillet and stir to combine. Plate the salad and top with a few pieces of basil and enjoy!
This recipe featuring Randall Great Northern Beans is a perfect summer side dish.