White Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad

If you’ve ever grown cherry tomatoes in your garden, you know how wonderfully prolific they can be in summer months. We found this salad recipe years ago in Fine Cooking magazine (probably my favorite cooking magazine of all time). The salad beautifully combines the sweetness of summer cherry tomatoes with white beans and parsley.

The secret sauce is the dressing, which includes garlic and rosemary infused olive oil, and a paste made of garlic, lemon, Parmesan and anchovies.

If you want a vegetarian option, omit the anchovies, if not, by all means include them. Or, if you don’t have access to anchovies, add a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce.

White Bean Cherry Tomato Salad

White Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8


  • 1 15-ounce cans of white beans, such as Great Northern or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped parsley

Dressing ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 3-inch sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 3 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped (omit for vegetarian option)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice


1 Start by making the dressing. Place the garlic and sprig of rosemary in the olive oil in a small saucepan. Heat the oil on medium until the rosemary begins to sizzle. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 20 minutes, allowing the rosemary and garlic to infuse in the oil.


2 Remove rosemary sprig from the oil, discard. Remove the garlic from the oil, reserving the oil. Add the garlic, anchovies (omit for vegetarian option), Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a food processor or mini chopper. Pulse until smoth.

3 In a medium bowl, gently mix the garlic Parmesan lemon mixture in with the beans until the beans are well coated. Let the beans sit for a few minutes so they absorb some of the dressing. Gently mix in the reserved olive oil, tomatoes, and parsley.

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Showing 4 of 34 Comments

  • Kate

    That sounds fabulous, and I’m happy to report I have everything I need. I’m one who doesn’t like anchovies on pizza, but they are wonderfully complex in most everything else, pounded into a dressing, melted over vegetables. Many say “No anchovies” without understanding what a complex and rich flavor they add — I think it’s just a knee-jerk reaciton. Kind of like my knee-jerk reaction to the idea of eating brains. So, I’m going to make this “as is” with some sungold cherry tomatoes from the garden and that can of white beans that is sitting, doing nothing. Thanks for helping clean out my larder!

  • Angela

    This looks wonderful!! We’re going camping and I think I’ll make this as a side dish one night. I’m thinking I would like to make the dressing at home and refrigerate it. Do you think that would work?
    Thanks so much. I really do enjoy this site!!

  • Vanessa

    Facinating! I usually don’t saute and infuse herbs for my dressings. Elise, do you think that the heat makes a difference or would the results be wildly different if you just chopped up some fresh rosemary and skipped the saute step?

  • Karina

    Oh my – this is my kind of salad. And positively gorgeous!

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