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Cannellini and Macaroni Salad with Grilled Tomatoes

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound plum tomatoes -- halved lengthwise
Salt -- to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper -- to taste
1 1/2 cups small elbow macaroni - (abt 6 oz)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 garlic clove -- minced
15 ounces canned cannellini (white kidney beans) -- rinsed, drained
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives (or other brine-cured olives)
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley


Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon oil over cut-side of tomatoes; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill tomatoes, cut-side up, until skin begins to char, about 2 minutes; turn over and grill, cut-side down, just until heated through, about 1 minute. Cool. Cut tomatoes into 1-inch pieces.


Cook macaroni in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain well. Transfer macaroni to large bowl; cool. Mix in grilled tomatoes and any accumulated juices, 2 tablespoons vinegar, basil, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer salad to large platter.


Mix beans, onion, olives, parsley, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 tablespoon vinegar in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon bean salad over center of macaroni salad and serve.


This recipe yields 4 main-course servings.





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