Rustic White Bean Salad with Soft-Cooked Eggs

Gentl and Hyers

This salad has much more than an assortment of flavors and textures. The beans and eggs can be cooked ahead, while the vinaigrette can be made several days in advance, leaving assembly of the salad for the last minute. It's lovely for lunch or as the anchor to dinner. Dress the beans in advance of eating to absorb the flavors of the vinaigrette.

  • 2 cups cooked white beans (navy or cannellini) or canned, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, finely diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 small sweet onion, finely diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 rib celery, peeled and finely diced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 3 small cloves garlic, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Olive Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • 4 large eggs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 pieces rustic bread, brushed with olive oil and grilled
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

In a large bowl, combine the white beans, fennel, onions, celery, garlic, herbs, and lemon juice. Add about two-thirds of the vinaigrette and toss lightly. Let sit while you prepare the eggs.

Put the eggs in a small saucepan, cover with room temperature water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook for exactly 5 1/2 minutes. Pour off the hot water, transfer the eggs to a bowl filled with ice water, and leave to chill for 20 minutes.

To serve, season the beans to taste with salt and black pepper. Peel the eggs and cut them in half. Cut the grilled bread slices in half and arrange two halves on each plate. Spoon the bean salad over the bread and top with two egg halves. Drizzle some of the remaining vinaigrette around the plate and sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil over the eggs.

Olive Vinaigrette

  • 1 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted
  • 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 anchovy fillets 1 shallot, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the olives, vinegar, mustard, anchovies, and shallots in a blender. Pulse a few times to combine, and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil with the machine running. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed.

Reprinted with permission from The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook: Chefs Collaborative and Ellen Jackson, © 2013, The Taunton Press.

Prep time: 
20 minutes
Cook time: 
10 minutes
Total time: 
30 minutes
Yield: 
4 servings
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