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While we were on vacation, I found a recipe for a tasty pinto bean salad. That got me thinking about coming up with some other bean salad recipes, because while I like beans and cornbread just as much as the next gal, I want to find a way to include beans in my diet in other forms. Looking in the pantry yesterday, I decided to soak some cannellini beans I had this morning. When I got home, I cooked them in the pressure cooker in a fresh change of water for 40 minutes, quick vented the cooker, drained the beans and rinsed them in cold water to stop the cooking and to cool them down for the salad. While they were cooking I chopped all the other ingredients and put them into a large bowl. If you want to try making your own Pesto Cannellini Bean Salad, round up these ingredients:
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4 cups cooked cannellini beans
1 medium Vidalia (or other sweet) onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 Tablespoons capers
1 7.5 oz jar of grilled and marinated artichoke hearts (I use Reese’s)
1/2 c green Spanish olives
2 stalks celery, diced
1/4 c good quality EVOO (I used Raimondo’s Roasted Garlic)
1/4 c vinegar- your choice. I used a basil vinegar made by my mother, but a balsamic or red wine would be nice, too.
4 Tablespoons prepared pesto (I make it in the summer and freeze it in 2 Tablespoon “cookies”)
salt and pepper to taste

Toss it all together, adjusting the salt and pepper to taste. This is a dish that will keep well, if you can keep from eating it all right away! It tastes even better the next day, too. It’s healthy, and vegan, if you’re into that kind of thing. It’s also dang tasty. So give it a try, and make life DIY!

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