3.5 6

Italian Butter Beans with Meyer Lemon and Tarragon

Italian butter beans are big and creamy, but if you can't find them, substitute any large white bean. Chef Annie Somerville lets the beans marinate in the dressing for at least a half-hour, so they're extra-flavorful.



Slideshow: More Healthy Winter Recipes


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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  • 1 1/2 cups dried Italian butter beans or gigante beans (10 ounces), soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest (or 1 teaspoon lemon zest)
  • 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice or 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon


  1. Rinse the beans and transfer them to a large saucepan. Add the bay leaf and 3 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until nearly tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Season the beans with salt and simmer until they are tender, but still hold their shape, about 45 minutes longer.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the onion and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain the onion and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil.
  3. Drain the beans. Add them to the dressing, season with salt and pepper and toss. Let the beans stand for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, fold in the parsley and tarragon.

Make Ahead

The dressed beans can be refrigerated overnight. Return to room temperature and fold in the herbs before serving.


One Serving: 284 cal, 14 gm fat, 2.1 gm sat fat, 30 gm carb, 7 gm fiber, 11 gm protein.

Contributed By Photo © Tina Rupp Published January 2012

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