Friday, April 9, 2010

Nicoise Salad with White Beans

Good Evening everyone. Sorry I have been gone most of the day. I have been having another one of those days, but it is Friday so that is okay. Friday is always my favorite day of the week because it means two whole days with my husband. Yes we are still that “icky” 24 years later.  I am very lucky to be married to my best friend.

I talked to Jackie (Walid’s wife) about dinner on Sunday and she is a little worried about what we can or should eat. I hate being such a problem for our friends. We have decided that I will make the bean dish and bring some brown rice and they are in charge of veggies and white rice. We may end up grilling veggies, but nothing is set in stone yet. Since I am making the bean dish I want to make something Middle Eastern.  Therefore I have been pouring through my Middle Eastern cookbooks this afternoon. I may make a fava bean dish, but I have not decided yet. If anyone has a suggestion please feel free to share.  I am still very open to suggestions.

Both Dan and Walid worked very late tonight. They both left the office after 9pm. Needless to say I wanted to make a light dinner since I hate going to bed with a full stomach. Once again I turned to salad for dinner relying on the cooked cannellini beans. Here is what we had:

Nicoise Salad with White Beans
serves 2

Salad Ingredients:

6 ounces russet potato
Fresh juice of ¼ lemon
4 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced into halves or quarters
1 cup cannellini beans, cooked without salt
6 nicoise or kalamata olives, pitted and sliced into slivers
1 cup green beans, lightly steamed
½ orange pepper, thinly sliced

Salad Dressing Ingredients:

½ lemon zested and juiced
1 tablespoon capers, rough chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, finely minced
1 tablespoon fat free oil replacer – version 1 (recipe below)


Microwave the potato until just tender. Cut into bite size chunks and squeeze fresh lemon juice over the potato and refrigerate.

To make the dressing whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, parsley and oil replacer.

To serve place the spinach on the base of the plate. Top the spinach with the vegetables and drizzle with dressing. Add salt and pepper as desired.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 288.04
Calories From Fat (12%) - 35.42

Total Fat - 4.01g
Saturated Fat-  0.14g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 370.96mg
Potassium - 1611.87mg
Total Carbohydrates - 54.1g
Fiber - 11.95g
Sugar - 3.48g
Protein - 13.49g


This was a nice light salad. It was perfect for dinner at 9:30 at night. Next time I may make some baked tofu to add to this salad to serve as the tuna replacement. But beans make a good stand in if you aren’t in the mood to marinate and bake tofu.

Each serving of this salad contains approximately 7,700IU of vitamin A, 120mg of vitamin C, 130mg of calcium, 4.9mg of iron, 295mcg of folate, 370mcg of vitamin K, 235mg of phosphorus, and 130mg of magnesium.

Related Recipe:

The oil replacer is my variation of the a Bryanna recipe found here. Her recipe calls for low sodium vegetarian broth powder, but I don’t keep anything like that on hand. I decided to add black peppercorns to mimic the peppery bite in some Tuscan olive oils. The lemon zest was added for the citrus notes that some olive oils have. This does not taste like olive oil but it does add the correct viscosity to the dressing that you would typically get from oil. I am going to continue to play around with this concept until I get it right. Here is what I did:

Fat Free Oil Replacer – version 1
Makes 13 tablespoons


1 tablespoon cornstarch
¾ cup water
Zest of ¼ lemon, or to taste
20 whole tellichery peppercorns that have been cracked


Whisk together the water and cornstarch. Add the lemon zest and peppercorns and heat the mixture, whisking occasionally, until it is thick, mostly clear and smooth. Refrigerate until needed. If desired remove the peppercorns before using.

Nutritional information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 2.56
Calories From Fat (1%) - 0.02

Total Fat - 0g
Saturated Fat - 0g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 0.5mg
Potassium - 1.11mg
Total Carbohydrates - 0.62g
Fiber - 0.03g
Sugar - 0.01g
Protein - 0.01g


Next time I am going to try using arrowroot instead of cornstarch I think that might result in a better texture and more gloss. Also, I will be using more peppercorns to up that flavor.

Unrelated notes:

Since it is almost midnight this will definitely be my last post of the evening. I hope you are all having a great Friday evening. Talk to you tomorrow. Good night!


  1. This looks lovely and delicious!
    I think this would be the perfect picnic salad!!!!

  2. This salad sounds and looks so good. Definitely something that we would really enjoy in this household.

  3. Brandi,

    Great idea to use this for a picnic. I may do that on our next bike ride. Thanks!


    Glad you like the idea. I do things like this a lot for lunch.


  4. This looks wonderful. C'est chouette!

  5. Aimee,

    Thanks! It makes a great light meal. I love to use beans or baked tofu in salad to add protein.



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