- 2 large bell peppers (one red, one yellow, if you can find)
- 1 poblano pepper or a third bell pepper (mine was orange)
- 3 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 pound dried, cooked)
- 4 ounces very thinly sliced soppressata, cut into very thin strips (optional)
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves or 1 large, minced with a teaspoon or two of oregano
- 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh rosemary (I skipped this)
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh oregano leaves (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano)
- Freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 to 2 cups radicchio in 1/4-inch ribbons or torn into bite-size pieces
In a big bowl, combine your beans and soppressata, if using. When cool enough to handle, break the peppers open over the beans and let the peppers’ juices run out. Pull the charred skin and seeds from the peppers and discard. Sometimes, I find it easiest to give each pepper strip a quick rinse under cool water to remove clinging seeds. Cut the peppers into thin strips and add to the beans, plus any more juices that collect. Chop garlic with rosemary and oregano finely minced and add to bowl. Drizzle the oil, vinegar, and lemon juice over the salad and sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and parsley. Toss to combine everything. Here, you can add ribboned radicchio, as I do, or you can put torn pieces on a plate later and serve the bean salad on top of it. The salad is ready to eat now, but it’s even better after marinating for an hour or two.
Do ahead: Bean salad keeps in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
A few ingredient notes: You could swap 1 pound dried cannellini, cooked and cooled, for the 3 drained cans. (I made my first batch with Rancho Gordo’s delicious Marcella beans and the batch you see here with Goya Great Northern and it turned out to be exactly as good, lucky us.) You could use other small beans, black or yellow-eyed peas, or chickpeas here, doesn’t matter. I add a little garlic, because roasted red peppers need garlic. I use dried oregano instead of fresh because of my Good Seasons nostalgia, and skipped the rosemary because my plant is scraggly. I used much less radicchio than called for (original recipe call for two heads). I know it can be quite bitter but it mellows beautifully without becoming soggy or unpleasant in the salad, even days later. And I use a third sweet bell pepper instead of a poblano. Rainbow-colored peppers aren’t mandatory but they do look pretty if you can find them. You could use jarred peppers, but I vastly prefer the sweetness (and juices that flavor the salad) of roasting fresh ones. The soppressata (an Italian dry salami that comes hot or mild) is completely optional and I don’t think you’ll find the salad lacking for anything if you skip it. Whatever swap you’re considering, I say you go for it. Bean salads are flexible.