Monday, May 23, 2011

Salad of Cannellini Beans, Chorizo & Tomatoes

Salad of Cannellini Beans, Chorizo & Tomatoes 1

Another week has gone past in a flash, as I have been busy preparing to leave for six glorious weeks on a yoga retreat in the Greek Islands - it’s a filthy job I know, but someone has to do it, and really who better than me.  If it’s any consolation, I am drafting this somewhere over the Pacific on the 10-1/2 hour flight to Singapore, where I hope to actually get it posted during the 5 hour wait for my 12 hour flight to Munich - by the time I finally get to Athens, I will have had about 37 hours of travelling, which is the downside of living at the bottom of the world.

After the last few months of stress, and more than a little heartache, following the Christchurch earthquake back in February, this trip offers plenty of reprieve - an opportunity to recharge both my yoga and emotional batteries;  a time for reflection and renewal;  a time to reconnect with my wonderful yoga teachers, Graeme & Leonie Northfield, as well as with special friends;  a time, no doubt, to make some new friends;  and almost certainly an opportunity for fabulous food, which you will no doubt hear more about over the next few weeks.  Oh, and did I mention swimming and the suntan?!

Speaking of fabulous food, it’s time for me to share my weekly contribution with the I Heart Cooking Clubs group.  You know that we are cooking with Jamie Oliver, who has an absolute abundance of fabulous recipes to choose from, and our theme this week is Pot Luck.  Everyone in the group loves it when we have our monthly Pot Luck, as that is the time they turn to that special recipe that they’ve had bookmarked for ages just waiting for the right occasion to share it.  There are some wonderful bloggers in this group and I know that everyone will  be pulling out all the stops this week, so for plenty of fabulous food and inspiration go and visit my friends at IHCC.

As for me, it was not so much a case of pulling out all the stops, as it was of pulling out a few remnants from the back of the fridge and pantry that needed to be used up before going away.  I discovered a chorizo sausage, some cherry tomatoes, and a bag of rocket, all needing to be turned into something edible.  Adding a can of cannellini beans to the mix, I made this salad which I had seen Jamie Oliver make on TV once - I think it was an episode of Jamie Does Spain, but I can’t be certain as I can’t find the original recipe anywhere.  So you are just going to have to take it on faith that I saw him make something like this, and this is my interpretation of it.

This makes a great light meal for two, served with some good, crusty, bread, or would also make a great accompanying side dish to some lamb chops or fish.

Salad of Cannellini Beans, Chorizo & Tomatoes Recipe
Inspired by a recipe by Jamie Oliver
(Serves 2 as a light meal)
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

1 tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
flaky sea salt & freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large chorizo sausage, sliced about 3mm (1/8”) thick
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled - leave cloves whole, but smash slightly
20 cherry tomatoes

extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar

Drain and rinse the cannellini beans, put into a medium size bowl, season well with flaky sea salt & freshly ground pepper, toss well, and set aside.

Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the sliced chorizo sausage to the pan, and cook until starting to brown around the edges.  It will render out quite a lot of its own fat.  Remove the sausage from the pan, leaving the fat behind in the pan, and add the sausage to the bowl with the beans.

Return the skillet to the heat, add the shallot and smashed garlic cloves to the pan, along with the cherry tomatoes.  As soon as the garlic starts to turn golden brown and the tomatoes start to pop, remove the pan from the heat.  Discard the garlic cloves, and tip the entire contents of the pan (including all of the oil) into the bowl with the beans and sausage.

Add a good slosh of the red wine vinegar (about a tablespoon) to the bowl, season again with flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, and mix gently but thoroughly to combine.  Taste and adjust with more oil, vinegar or seasoning as necessary.

Lastly add the rocket leaves, give one last gentle toss, and serve.  This is great served immediately while the sausage and tomatoes are still warm, but also equally good after it has been sitting for a couple of hours and the flavours have really infused.  Either way, this should at least be served at room temperature - do not refrigerate.

I hope you enjoy it.

Salad of Cannellini Beans, Chorizo & Tomatoes 2

Interested in getting to know Jamie a bit better?  Then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and see what they've all been cooking up ....


.... or check out Jamies Italy and many of his other great titles, available from Amazon or Fishpond NZ.

Jamie's Italy     Jamie's Kitchen     The Naked Chef


  1. Be as indulgent as you can with yourself and for yourself! Enjoy, enjoy and enjoy some more. See you when you get back!

  2. Glad you're having a great deserve it!

    This salad looks fantastic. I've made something along these lines from Food & Wine magazine. It had butter beans though. And no greens. I like the idea of including some kind of greens. Makes it more complete to me.

  3. I love the simply beauty of this salad...I wish that I could find Spanish chorizo around here. Your pictures are so magnificent...I just wish I had that plate in front of me. Have a wonderful time- you DEFINITELY deserve it. And yeah, Potluck week is often about using up bits & bobs, too...although sometimes I pull out all the stops ;)

  4. Oh Sue...I'm so happy for you! Six weeks on a yoga retreat in the Greek Islands sounds like heaven. I know this will give you a chance to find balance and make peace with things. Enjoy every minute of it!

    I am a complete bean fanatic and this dish really packs some flavor with the spanish chorizo. I'd love a helping of this.

  5. Sue, I'm really glad to hear that! Hope that you will have a good and beneficial trip, and yes, indulge yourself to as much food as you can, eat what the locals eat! Looking forward to hearing all about your trip.
    That plate of beans looks really yummy! Will look into IHCC!

  6. This looks wonderful--all of my favorite ingredients! ;-)

    Enjoy your time away. I am sure it will recharge and revitalize you. You deserve it!

  7. Love the chorizo in this salad. If I saw this in a cafe chances are I wouldn't be able to pass it up.

    Major points for getting a blog post out while in transit...! Something for me to keep in mind when I go on a similar length journey next week.

    Have a wonderful time away :)

  8. What a lovely salad! Perfect for this warm weather (well, we've been warm - I'm not sure what the temp is there!)
    How exciting that you are posting while jet-setting. ☺

  9. I am glad you are getting away and on such a special trip. Six weeks. WOW. Enjoy it.

    I have been cooking with beans, more often, recently and this is something that sounds like a winner for my family. I am hoping to make it soon.

  10. It looks delicious, healthy and perfect for the summer.

    I hope you have a great time in Greece.

  11. Enjoy your trip!
    That is such a great looking salad, love everything that's in there!

  12. Thanks Melynda - I'm having a great time already!

    Hi MM, and thanks. Butter beans would be a great alternative to cannellini in this, and I agree - the greens do make it. Spinach would be a good alternative in this to rocket.

    Thanks Heather - I love simple dishes like this too, but like all really simple dishes it is all about the quality of the ingredients. The chorizo I used here was from my local market and it was absolutely wonderful - had a real kick to it, and the paprika really flavoured the fat that rendered out so the final dressing on the salad was awesome.

    Hi Kim - this is definitely a great dish for bean lovers, and the better the quality of the chorizo you find the more flavour goes into the beans.

    Thanks so much Deb - woman after my own heart :-)

    milliemirepoix - thanks so much. Actually this is exactly the kind of dish that I often look for in a cafe and so rarely find. Hope you have a great trip away - will be looking forward to hearing all about it :-)

    Thanks Natashya - yes, this is a great warm weather salad - it kind of makes you feel like summer. Although it is beautifully warm where I am right now in Athens, it was not quite so warm when I left home - heading into winter in New Zealand.

    Hi Bizzy - thank you so much and thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoy it and hope you will visit again soon.

    Hi melodie1974 - thank you for visiting and your kind wishes - hope you'll visit again.

    Sue xo

  13. This is perfect spring salad, love cherry tomatoes, and white beans, made smilliar one but i added some smoked salmon along with it! ur is simple and gorgeous

  14. A yoga retreat sounds like exactly what you need! And this salad...which is just gorgeous.


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I love hearing from you and your comments are like gold to me. Your comment will be visible as soon as it has been approved.