Ah, it feels good to be back! The last time I blogged at The Daily Bite it was still sundress and sandal weather. While we’re not quite there yet, the recent milder weather at least feels like we’re on our way. Which is why it feels right that my blog should get a fresh start and a major facelift with the new and improved Cooking with Cara! For returning readers, thanks for coming back! Newbies, welcome and I hope you enjoy following along (and maybe even recreating) some of my cooking and eating escapades in New York City.
In light of changing seasons and new beginnings, today I bring you a light and fresh Tomato, White Bean & Hearts of Palm Salad with Basil Vinaigrette. This makes for a great brown-bag lunch or a side salad at dinner. It only requires about 10 minutes of prep, so make your vinaigrette, wash and chop your vegetables ahead of time (as in the pictures below), and you can throw lunch together in less than 5 minutes for the whole week.
Tomato, White Bean & Hearts of Palm Salad
makes 5 servings
20 oz baby spinach
2 pints grape tomatoes
1 can cannelini (white) beans, drained and rinsed
1 can hearts of palm (reserve some of the juice to store them in during the week)
makes 4-6 servings, depending how much you use
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 large garlic clove
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Begin by washing your tomatoes and cutting them in half. I left some of the smaller tomatoes whole.
2. Drain the hearts of palm, but reserve some of the liquid to keep moist if eating later. Cut hearts of palm in half lengthwise, then crosswise into little half moons.
3. To make the vinaigrette, combine basil, garlic and vinegar in a food processor or blender. Drizzle in olive oil until it has a vinaigrette-like consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. To assemble the salad, layer spinach in the bottom of your tupperware (or plate if eating now). Top with beans, tomatoes and hearts of palm. Bring the basil vinaigrette in a separate tupperware container (so the spinach doesn’t get soggy), and drizzle over the salad just before serving.