Tomato-Butter Bean Salad with Feta (VIDEO)

Updated: Oct 13

I hope you'll make this recipe soon. If you do, please tag me #innichka_chef on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest.


Summer has been here for a while now, and it’s so hot. It's also humid. Humidity is a big issue for many folks, but thankfully I don't mind it. To me, living in the South doesn't only mean hot weather and water everywhere (even in the air); it also means exploring one ingredient at a time. I absolutely love going to the farmers market and seeing what local produce is waiting for me. Here are some of the things I found at the farmers market this month: green beans, okra, butter beans, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, and eggplant. All these beautiful veggies are favorites of mine, so it's hard for me to choose what to get. I always have at least two dishes in mind that I want to make right away with the produce I get. While salads are not my thing year-round, they're usually my first choice for lunch or dinner in the summer.


Last Saturday morning, as soon I got back from my run, I went to the farmers market. The very first thing that caught my eyes was butter beans sitting on a display table in a small ziplock bag, waiting for me. I had to get them. I love, love beans (and any other legume). Interestingly, my relationship with legumes began when I moved to the South. I didn't grow up eating them, simply because they weren’t popular. I can remember just a few dishes my mom made with beans in them, and even then, there weren't a lot of beans in the dishes. In Ukraine, where the white potato is king of all veggies, I never heard people talk about the protein content of legumes.


Butter beans are actually baby lima beans. They are harvested small and prized for their tender, young-tasting flesh. Creamy, soft, and delicious. If they weren't harvested at the butter bean stage, they would continue to grow and dry out in the fields as they become lima beans. An older local once told me that a true butter bean is no larger than the nail on your pinkie finger. However, most butter beans we see today are the size of a thumbnail or even bigger.


The salad that I want to share with you today is a tomato and butter bean salad topped with feta. Full of delicious summer veggies that speak for themselves, you don't have to add much to make this salad. This is an incredibly tasty and healthy salad that takes almost no time to make. Quick and easy, I promise you are going to love it. This salad is good right away, but it's even better the next day!


Knowing me you probably know I always try to sneak some probiotics into my food. This salad is no exception. The key ingredient to the simple dressing is sauerkraut juice. Yes, it not only provides a little bit of acid like lemon usually does, but it also adds a great amount of good bacteria as well. Along with preserving food. Your gut will thank you for it.


I recommend making the butter beans ahead of time, so I've included directions on how to prepare them. Scroll down for the salad recipe.


Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

Total time: 20-25 minutes

Author: Inna of innichkachef.com


Butter Beans Ingredients

1 lb. fresh butter beans

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon pink salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Few sprigs of fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dry

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder


Ingredient Notes

Butter Beans

The good news is that butter beans are fresh and young, so there's no need to soak them. Just rinse and add to your pan.

If you don't live in the South, you may not be able to find butter beans. You can easily substitute them with baby lima beans from the freezer section of your supermarket.

One-pound bag of baby lima beans (butter beans)

Butter Beans Directions

1. Rinse the butter beans.

2. Add olive oil to saucepan on low medium heat.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients, and stir.

4. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, stir the beans and add a little bit of water if all the liquid is gone.

5. Cover again and cook for 10-15 more minutes.

6. Keep an eye on the beans until they are completely cooked. They should be soft to the touch but not mushy.

7. If you just want to eat the beans, you can serve them warm. To make the salad, set the beans aside and let them cool completely while you follow the directions below.

Bowl full of salad made with butter beans, tomatoes, onions, and herbs, with a block of feta cheese on the side

Tomato-Butter Bean Salad with Feta

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes

Author: Inna of innichkachef.com


Salad Ingredients

1 lb. fresh cooked butter beans, cooled completely (see above)

1 lb. tomatoes

1 bell pepper

½ red onion, chopped

½ cup chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped basil

2-3 tablespoons feta crumbs

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoon sauerkraut juice

Salt and black pepper to taste

Bowl of butter beans surrounded by feta, basil leaves, onions, and tomatoes

Ingredient Notes

Butter Beans

Adding hot, fresh-cooked butter beans to the salad isn't the worst mistake you could make, but it's definitely not ideal. For best results, make sure the butter beans are completely cool before adding them to the salad. They can even be cooked the day before you make the salad.

Directions

1. Chop your tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion, and add to a bowl.

2. Chop parsley and basil and add to bowl.

3. Crumble some of the feta into the bowl, reserving some to top the salad.

4. Add olive oil and sauerkraut juice.

5. Add salt and pepper, then stir everything together.

6. Add the cooked and cooled butter beans.

7. Mix one more time, top with a little bit of feta, and drizzle with olive oil.

Enjoy!

Bowl full of salad made with butter beans, tomatoes, onions, and herbs, with a block of feta cheese on the side

I hope you'll make this recipe soon. If you do, please tag me #innichka_chef on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest.

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