Warm butter bean salad

Warm butter bean salad

butter bean salad pan

It’s salad season yet evening are still a bit too chilly for my liking so I was after something that’s a half way house between a salad and a stew. This warm butter bean salad is just perfect and easy to make too. My goal was to use few ingredients and to make this warm butter beans salad recipe so straightforward that you can make it mid-week without breaking a sweat.

It uses a few staple ingredients and only needs 10 minutes tops on the stove. This warm butter bean salad is inspired by Italian flavours. It heros sweet cherry tomatoes and canned butter beans – the first provide sweetness and a dose of juiciness and the latter satiety.

Those two key ingredients are tossed in warm garlicky olive oil, seasoned with basil, lemon and a bit of miso paste for some extra depth of flavour. This simple butter bean salad coupled up with a slice of crusty sourdough bread makes for a fantastic, healthy and protein-rich mid-week meal.

If you are feeling a little extra, you may want ‘Greekify’ it by drizzling it with some more extra virgin olive oil and add a smattering of vegan feta (or something similar) on top – both of dose things will elevate it further but, especially if you are serving it as part of a larger spread, it is delicious just as it is.


butter bean salad ingredients

TOMATOES: Use the best cherry tomatoes you can find as this dish relies on them for a lot of its flavour. I went for two different colours to make the dish look prettier but that’s not necessary. Mine looked beautiful but lacked a little sweetness so I added an extra teaspoon of maple syrup to increase the sweetness.

OLIVE OIL: I used extra virgin olive oil, which when infused with garlic and mixed in with tomato juices and other liquid ingredients creates a quick dressing.

LEMON: I used a small amount of lemon juice and lemon zest to give this dish a bit of freshness. If your tomatoes are acidic rather than sweet you may want to use less lemon juice or none at all.

BUTTER BEANS: I used two cans of drained butter beans in this simple salad. Butter beans are plump and creamy and they hold their shape really well. If you cannot get them where you live, slightly more fragile but just as creamy cannellini beans would be much suggestion.

MISO: I used a tablespoon of white miso (also known as shiro miso) to add a bit more depth of flavour to the dressing. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t have it though – you could use 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast instead or skip it.

BASIL: Tomatoes and basil are a flavour marriage so adding a liberal amount of fresh basil leaves to this salad was a no brainer. It makes the dish taste like summer.

MAPLE SYRUP: I added a dash of maple syrup as my tomatoes turned out to lack a bit of sweetness. If your tomatoes are sweet, you may not need as much. Instead of maple syrup you can of course use sugar too.

GARLIC: I used four garlic cloves to infuse the oil with garlic flavour. You can use fewer cloves if you prefer but if you are worried about garlicky harshness be assured that sautéing them in olive oil slowly mellows the flavour out a lot.

butter bean salad garlic tomatoes

Chop the garlic really finely and halve your cherry tomatoes so that where the stem came out of is at the bottom of one of the halves.

butter bean salad garlic oil

Heat up olive oil in a large pan, add finely diced garlic and allow it to cook gently, on very low heat, until fragrant and no longer raw (opaque rather than translucent), but don’t let it colour. Arrange cherry tomatoes, cut side down, on top and cook briefly until undersides soften just a little and tomatoes start releasing their juices.

butter bean salad tomatoes

Once the tomatoes are done, gently turn them over (or take off the pan) and add beans and the rest of the ingredients in. Give everything a gentle stir and season to taste. That’s it, that’s all there is to it. Enjoy with a slice of crusty bread, an extra drizzle of olive oil and maybe a bit of vegan feta if you’d like another texture.

butter bean salad dressing

butter bean salad pan

butter bean salad close up

butter bean salad side

4 as side
10 min
10 min
4 as side
10 min
10 min
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, more to drizzle
  • 400 g / 14 oz cherry tomatoes
  • 20 g / 1 heaped tbsp white (shiro) miso paste*
  • 2 tsp / 10 ml maple syrup
  • zest of 1 small lemon + 10 ml / 2 tsp juice
  • 2 x 400 g / 14 oz cans of butter beans
  • 15 g / 0.5 oz fresh basil, well chopped
  • salt & pepper
  1. Chop garlic really finely and halve your cherry tomatoes widthwise so that where the stem came out of is at the bottom of one of the halves.
  2. Pre-heat olive oil in a large pan, add garlic and sauté it really gently, on low heat, until fragrant and opaque (no longer raw) but don’t let it brown.
  3. Combine miso paste, lemon juice and maple syrup in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Arrange tomato halves in the pan, cut side down. Cook them gently for a couple of minutes until the undersides are barely softened and started to release their juice. You want them just a bit softened, not mushy and falling apart.
  5. Add drained beans to the pan. Warm them up briefly, then add miso dressing, lemon zest and chopped basil. Season with pepper and a bit of salt – don’t overdo it as miso is also salty.
  6. Divide between bowls, serve alongside crusty bread to mop up pan juices, a smattering of vegan feta and a drizzle of olive oil if liked.

*MISO: If making this dish gluten-free, make sure your miso paste isn’t based on wheat but on a gluten-free alternative (chickpeas, quinoa, rice). If you don’t have miso, you could use 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast instead.

8 g
9 g
1 g
10 g
38 g
*per 1 out of 4 servings
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2 reviews, 6 comments
so simple and tasty! this will be in regular rotation.
    Thanks Alix, I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed this dish. Thank you for taking the time to review, much appreciated. Ania
I made this! So yummy! Thanks for posting. - Sri.
    Aw thanks so much, Sri. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed it so much. Ania
This looks AMAZING! Did you add red pepper flakes? It looks like there is a spice on the dish that isn't salt and pepper.
    Hi Shari,
    Yes, I did for looks mainly, but if you like things spicy you can of course sprinkle some in. Well spotted. Ania
Ania, this sounds delicious (although moving into winter here in Australia, so my home grown tomatoes are finished and the shop ones may not have a good enough flavour to support this dish).
Just wanted to alert you to a typo - in the recipe card you say tomatoes "cut side down" but I think you mean, as you say in the text, "cut side up" . Looking forward to trying this with my Rye Sourdough bread as per your recipe! (which just gets better and better....9 months of making it every week now!) :)
    Hi Jane,
    Thank you. Yes, indeed, I did mean cut side down but I mistakenly said cut side up in the post - I will correct it now. Thanks for letting me know. Aw, I am so happy to hear that you make my rye sourdough on a regular basis, that's fantastic to hear - if you could leave a review under that recipe I would be really grateful. Ania
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