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White Bean and Tomato Salad: Make It Alluring

Beans are often my solution to the dinner on a busy weeknight problem: They’re inexpensive, they’re healthy, and, most importantly, they’re delicious. However, they’re hard to get excited about, so being creative with them has gotten to be a point of pride. As in: How can I make a bean dish that doesn’t make me wince at the concept that the words “bean dish” evoke? This latest installment in my attempts to sexify the world of bean cuisine is courtesy of my friend Katherine Rock, a budding young chef based in Durham, North Carolina. Rock was an exchange student in Ecuador, where “ceviche de chocho,” a white bean and tomato salad, is a typical accompaniment to a midday meal and a popular street food. Here’s how I adapted it.

White Bean and Tomato Salad

Serves 8

2 cups cannellini beans
2 red onions
4 tomatoes
2 oranges
5 limes
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt, to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Chopped cilantro, to garnish (optional)

Drain beans thoroughly and set aside.

With a very sharp knife, slice red onions as thinly as possible and place slices in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle onions liberally with salt and the juice of one lime. Allow to sit for about 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with cold water and pat dry.

Juice the oranges and remaining four limes. Dice the tomatoes. In a large bowl, mix together the fruit juices with the tomatoes, onion slices, and olive oil.

Season with salt and pepper. Let mixture sit for one hour.

Before serving, toss beans with fruit and tomato mixture. Garnish with cilantro, if using. Serve with a fresh green salad and steamed rice, if you like.

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