Cannellini beans are the star is this light and healthy salad that’s packed with protein and fiber.
White Bean Arugula Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Crispy Prosciutto is a light and healthy salad packed with protein and fiber. One serving of this delicious salad delivers a whopping 34 grams of protein and 18 grams of fiber (68% and 72% of the recommended daily allowance). If you’re looking to add more beans to your diet, this is one delicious and nutritious way to do it. Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People, claims that adding one cup of beans per day to your diet will extend your life expectancy by 4 years!
Cannellini beans (another name for white beans) are the star in White Bean Arugula Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Crispy Prosciutto. Their mild taste and creamy texture work well with the peppery arugula and sun-dried tomatoes. For even more Italian flair, I’ve thrown in some fresh basil, mozzarella, and crispy prosciutto. Crispy prosciutto is a great way to give dishes added saltiness when needed and it’s so easy to make. Just lay prosciutto slices on a parchment or silicone lined sheet pan, bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, then let cool and crumble into small pieces. Sprinkle the crispy prosciutto pieces on right before serving to ensure that they stay crispy. (Tip – when you’re short on time you can use crispy prosciutto as a substitute in recipes that call for cooked, crumbled bacon. It cooks much more quickly than bacon and is a lot less messy.)
You can’t see the fresh basil in White Bean Arugula Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Crispy Prosciutto but it adds a wonderful subtle, savory flavor. I like to chiffonade the basil for this salad because it blends in better with the arugula than if roughly chopped. “Chiffonade” is a fancy French word that means to finely chop something into long thin strips. You usually see this term used in connection with basil. To chiffonade basil, stack the leaves (right side up), roll them up tightly like a cigarette, then slice them, perpendicular to the roll, into thin strips about 1/4-inch wide.
Because White Bean Arugula Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Crispy Prosciutto is so nutrient dense, you can serve it as an appetizer or an entrée. A piece of crusty French bread on the side along with a glass of cold white wine would make a fantastic, light meal.
- 4 slices (about 2 ounces) prosciutto, thinly sliced
- 3 ounces (heaping ⅓ cup) olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Pinch of pepper
- 2½ ounces baby arugula
- ½ ounce (1 cup loosely packed) fresh basil, cut chiffonade style
- 1 – 15.5 ounce can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 2 ounces (1/3 cup) oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the prosciutto slices on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet. Bake until browned and crispy, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool and then break into small pieces and set aside.
- Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Place the arugula and basil in a mixing bowl and toss to combine. Add the beans, mozzarella, and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Re-whisk the dressing and pour on top. Toss to thoroughly combine all the ingredients.
- Divide among 4 salad plates. Sprinkle on the crispy prosciutto pieces just prior to serving..
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