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Beans al Oregano Pesto

Beans al Oregano Pesto

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I really loved the last pesto I made recently with fresh wild oregano, which we picked from the mountain.  You can use it not only in pasta dishes but also on grilled food or as a topping in many other dishes.

It’s not the traditional pesto you all know but the basic ingredients are there:  a herb (oregano instead of basil), garlic, extra virgin olive oil, nuts (walnuts instead of pine nuts) and cheese (feta instead of parmesan).

wild oregano image

Oregano comes from the ancient Greek word “origanon” (ορίγανον) from “oros”, which means mountain and “ganos” which means brightness.

It is the plant that gives brightness to the mountain. It is a plant, a gift of nature, used either in cooking or therapeutically. It was considered a symbol of happiness by the ancient Greeks and the Romans, and for this the wreaths made in weddings also contained twigs of fresh oregano.

This aromatic plant, found mainly in the Eastern Mediterranean is our health advocate because it is one of the most powerful natural antioxidants. It’s antioxidant power is 12 times stronger than an orange, 30 times more than a potato and 42 times more than an apple.

This Greek-style pesto turned out delicious and matched perfectly in the white beans salad I made.

oregano and feta pesto image

 

Last week I cooked some beans and since I had some leftovers which I did not want to waste, so I freezed them. As I already said in other posts, I am using the word leftover a lot lately, as nothing is thrown away.

collage making oregano pesto image

I try and cook dried legumes as often as I can and white beans feature at least once a week on our table, as this is a versatile dish and everyone enjoys eating it, adding their favourite ingredients.

So instead of making my usual bean salad, I thawed the beans and thought why not try it with pesto and see how it works.

beans al oregano pesto image

The ingredients I used were: boiled beans, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, onion, parsley, tuna, roasted red pepper, olives, seasoning and pesto.

Ingredients for beans with oregano pesto

We loved it and this makes a very healthy and refreshing summer dish with legumes.

Update 20th October 2017:

Ever since, I’ve made this beans salad many times, adding something different, depending on what I had at hand.

This bean salad is with fresh, marinated anchovies and Purslane Pesto.

 

Oregano Pesto

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Makes:  1/2 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh oregano (only the leaves)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup walnuts or pecans
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 50 grams feta

Directions:

  1. Put all the pesto ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are minced.
  2. Start adding the olive oil gradually.
  3. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor, if necessary.
  4. Continue adding olive oil until the mixture reaches the consistency of a thick sauce.
  5. Add cheese and mix.

 

Beans al Oregano Pesto

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of cooked white beans (haricots or white navy beans)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 onion
  • 6 kalamata olives, pitted
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1 large canned tuna in water (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 – 3 spoonfuls of oregano pesto  
  • 2 – 3 Florina Peppers, cut in pieces (optional)

 

Directions:

See how to cook the White Beans here.

After boiling and straining the beans, add the remaining ingredients.

Mix in the pesto and adjust salt and pepper if needed.

Refrigerate for half an hour or more to allow for all the flavours to develop and for the salad to chill.

Note:  In order to make the recipe vegan, do not add the cheese to the pesto and leave out the tuna fish.

Beans al Oregano Pesto

Beans al Oregano Pesto

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Oregano pesto, with its bold flavour, can be used not only in pasta dishes but also on grilled food or as a topping in many other dishes.

Ingredients

For the Pesto

  • 1 cup fresh oregano (only the leaves)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup walnuts or pecans
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 50 grams feta

Beans al Oregano Pesto

  • 4 cups of cooked white beans (haricots or white navy beans)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 onion
  • 6 kalamata olives, pitted
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1 large canned tuna in water (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 – 3 spoonfuls of oregano pesto
  • 2 - 3 Florina Peppers, cut in pieces (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put all the pesto ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are minced.
  2. Start adding the olive oil gradually.
  3. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor, if necessary.
  4. Continue adding olive oil until the mixture reaches the consistency of a thick sauce.
  5. Add cheese and mix.
  6. See how to cook the White Beans here.
  7. After boiling and straining the beans, add the remaining ingredients.
  8. Mix in the pesto and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
  9. Refrigerate for half an hour or more to allow for all the flavours to develop and for the salad to chill.

Notes

In order to make the recipe vegan, do not add the cheese to the pesto and leave out the tuna fish.

Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Lulu Barbarian

Saturday 7th of June 2008

This salad looks super, Ivy! I like that with the beans and the tuna it makes a hearty meal, yet the cucumber, tomatoes, etc lighten it up so that it's perfect for summer.

Rosie

Friday 6th of June 2008

Just beautiful as always Ivy!! You have left me drooling!

Rosie x

Bellini Valli

Thursday 5th of June 2008

PS. I have forwarded on an award to you for all your hard work on your blog and for being someone I admire in the foodie world:D

Bellini Valli

Thursday 5th of June 2008

I'm with Nuria and love the additions to your blog "sis". This bean salad is something I could adapt to any type of bean salad. I never thought of adding pesto to my bean salads so thanks for the inspiration:D

Núria

Thursday 5th of June 2008

Wow Ivy! You've been doing some improvements in your blog!!!! I love the widget announcing your event deadline... GReat idea!

Concerning your pesto beans salad, it surely was a delicious dressing, tastier than olive oil+vinegar+salt (our classic here). :D

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