white bean and tomato salad

1 large red onion, cut into 1/4 inch chunks
2-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
12-14 medium size firm-ripe roma tomatoes, cut length-wise into halves
3 cans (15 ounces each) white kidney beans (cannellini)
2 tablespoons each chopped fresh thyme and chopped fresh basil; or 2 teaspoons each dry thyme and basil

In a lightly oiled 8-10 inch square baking pan mix onion, 1/2 teaspoon of the oil and vinegar. Arrange tomatoes, cut side up, in a lightly oiled 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Rub with remaining 2 teaspoons oil, then sprinkle with salt. Bake onion and tomatoes in a 475 degree oven until edges of onion chunks and tomato halves are dark brown (40-50 minutes for onion, about one hour and 10 minutes for tomatoes). Switch positions of baking pans halfway through baking. Pour beans and their liquid into a 2-3 quart pan. Add thyme. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for three minutes, stirring. Pour beans into a fine strainer; set over a bowl; reserve liquid. Place beans in a serving bowl; tap herbs from strainer into beans. Chop 8 tomato halves; stir into beans along with basil and onion. Add some of the reserved liquid to moisten, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange remaining 16 to 20 tomato halves around edge of salad. Per side dish serving: 179 calories (11 percent calories from fat). Serves 8 as a side dish; four as a main dish.

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