Verdina beans are a kind of heirloom flageolet bean from Asturias, Spain. I’ve never been able to find flageolet beans in Utah, until I saw them at Caputo’s. As someone who loves beans, I really appreciate their delicate flavor. I highly recommend picking a tub of Verdina beans up next time you’re in the market. They are incredible! And then you’re going to want to run home and make this salad. You might even eat the whole bowl yourself.
When I cook dry beans, I like to use aromatics to give them even more flavor. For the verdina beans, I didn’t want to overpower their delicate flavor, but I did want to compliment it, so I went with a bay leaf, whole garlic cloves, and peppercorns.
Besides the verdina beans, there are so many other goodies in this salad that I picked up from the market–marinated grilled artichoke hearts, jarred roasted red peppers, and my favorite Herbs de Provence green olives.
I added locally grown red onion, heirloom cherry tomatoes and oregano from my garden to add a bit of freshness.
Be sure to serve it with a loaf of crusty bread so you can soak up all of the delicious dressing made from the artichoke heart marinade and a splash of white wine vinegar.
If you feel like it, my official taste-tester/husband says he would like me to make this again with anchovies. I think he might be right.
Verdina Bean Salad
from Lindsey Johnson
3/4 lb. verdina or another kind of heirloom beans
1-2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp. peppercorns
a few tablespoons red onion, diced
1 jar marinated roasted artichoke hearts, marinade reserved for dressing
2 halves jarred roasted red peppers
4 oz. green marinated olives
1-2 cups fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
fresh oregano and basil
white wine vinegar
Artisan bread, for serving
Soak beans in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain and cover with water by 3-4 inches. Add the bay leaves, garlic cloves, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and then lower heat until the water is barely simmering. Cover pot with lid. Cook for about two hours, or a little longer, until beans are just tender. Add salt and remove pan from heat. Let beans stand to absorb the salt for about 30-60 minutes before using. Drain before preparing salad.
Toss the cooked beans with the remaining ingredients in a large shallow serving bowl. Eat with crusty bread.