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Lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to side dishes. In the colder weather, a lot of my dinners tend to be soups or stews that don’t require any extras. But now that it’s getting warmer out, it’s hard to resist the simplicity of just throwing something on the grill — which usually means making some sort of side dish to go with it. Baked potatoes and pasta salads are good, but I get tired of them pretty quickly. So I’ve been thinking about other easy-to-make options that will help round out a grilled meal. The white bean salad is exactly the kind of dish that I’ve been looking for. It’s light yet full of flavor, and it only takes a few seconds to throw together. The leftovers are great on a green salad, or they can be pureed and served with toasted baguette pieces for a satisfying hummus-like snack.

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I recently came across a good deal on lamb leg slices, so I stocked up and now have a freezer full of them. Which is great, sine they go perfectly with the Mediterranean flavors of the bean salad. I especially like to prepare them in this updated take on my herb-crusted lamb — rubbed with a mixture of olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary, then grilled and slathered with this delicious pesto that Mezzetta sent me (I’ve since bought another jar). I love how intense the flavor of this pesto is! It doesn’t taste like something out of a jar at all. The only weird thing about it is that it needs to be refrigerated after opening, and the olive oil congeals a little in the cold. But as long as you remember to pull it out a few minutes before you plan to eat it so that it comes up to temperature, you’re good to go!

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White Bean Salad

This versatile white bean salad is a snap to throw together! Feel free to use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand, or throw in other vegetables that you want to use up.

  • 1 can navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 2 Tbs sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tbs fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a serving dish. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to chill and allow the flavors to meld.

Serves 6.
Approx. 120 calories, 3 grams fat, 7 grams fiber, 5 grams protein

*****

I’m submitting this recipe to Reeni’s Side Dish Show Down

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