Florentine Salad

We were supposed to go to the opera today, to see Rigoletto. My husband, AKA The Boss, and I are both from Odessa, which means we are huge opera fans. When The Boss hears Verdi, he becomes ecstatic, and Rigoletto is on top of his favorite Verdi operas. You can imagine the anticipation building after Covid had killed last year’s season and severely curbed this year offerings. And – Rigoletto!

I couldn’t help but share The Boss’ favorite aria with you, Beautiful People, sung by the inimitable late Tito Gobbi, one of the greatest baritones and brilliant tragic actors who have ever graced opera stage. Yet we all know what happens to the best laid plans of men and mice, don’t we? We are still in the midst of our great adventure, the weather is not cooperating, and we are stuck in the Keys. The Boss had the presence of mind to call Florida Grand Opera and cajole them to change our tickets to Thursday. We hope the A-mighty will bring us home by that time.

Meanwhile, I’ve been catching signal whenever I can, and thanks to dear Carol of Retired? No one told me! I have learned that March is a National Celery Month. Lovely Carol, an accomplished cook and a passionate environmental advocate, is on top of all National and International Food days, so all I do is follow. Here comes CELERY!

This is a combination of two salads. Years ago in Israel, my aunt served a simple, yet delicious and healthy salad. It was just thinly sliced celery with diced scallions, dressed Israeli style, with lemon juice and olive oil. I loved it and started making it regularly. Then I saw one of the antipasti offered at Hosteria Romana owned by our friend Marco Efrati right here on South Beach (caution: Hosteria Romana is advertised as specializing in Roman-Jewish meals, but it is not kosher). This antipasto consisted of celery, red onions, and cannellini beans.

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The stocky jolly guy standing under the sign is Marco. We can’t eat there, obviously, but I can look, and when I see cannellini (white kidney beans), I can taste Florence. So I put two and two together and tweaked it a little.

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I still have my sliced celery and diced scallions, but  I throw in cannellini beans (sometimes I use navy or great northern beans, but any white beans are present in many Tuscan recipes) and some fresh parsley.

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As with all recipes where you use canned beans, you have to drain and rinse them well. Most of the sodium in those cans will wash away. You can also use frozen beans and cook or steam them until tender.

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Dice some fresh parsley, add fresh oregano, if you have it (or just more parsley, if you don’t), salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, toss, and you are good to go!

Is this the easiest salad you ever made, or what? I call it Florentine because of cannellini beans, and because I just want to have a little taste of Tuscany on my table.

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This is Ponte Vecchio, a three-story bridge where Jewish silversmiths and jewelers have worked and plied their trade for 900 years. Some of those antique Judaica pieces you can see there are simply unbelievable!

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So have a nice chilled glass of Pinot Grigio. Even though it comes from Venice rather than Tuscany, its refreshing, crisp, slightly lemony taste with notes of green apple pairs perfectly with this healthy salad.

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Garnish it with a splash of color. I tossed in a few bits of red bell pepper to make it look Italian – red, white, and green. BUON APPETITO!

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 stalks of celery
  • 6 scallions
  • 1 can (1 1/2 cup) cannellini, navy, or great northern beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley and oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

PROCEDURE

  • Thinly slice celery.
  • Dice scallions.
  • Drain and rinse beans, combine all three ingredients.
  • Blend the rest of the ingredients, season and toss the salad.
  • Garnish.

Enjoy!

51 Comments Add yours

  1. 15andmeowing says:

    Looks good. Thank you for the recipe.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, darling.

      Like

  2. lghiggins says:

    Such an easy salad to make and it looks delicious. I hope you and The Boss get your opera fix soon!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Linda.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. purpleslob says:

    That menorah is exquisite!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sure is! I used to love spending hours there admiring the silverwork.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. That’s a simple salad which could be served with many different meals.

    Prayers that you get home and to the opera for a lovely evening.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for a lovely comment and for your prayers, dear Mimi.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m a big fan of crunchy celery in any form, so I’m sure I would enjoy this salad.
    Hope you’ll be able to get to the opera and enjoy! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Ronit!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. CarolCooks2 says:

    A delicious salad using celery, Dear Dolly…Thank you for the lovely mention and glowing intro…I do hope the weather decides to be kind and you ger to the opera on Thursday 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Keeping my fingers, toes, and eyes crossed…

      Like

  7. Looks good and easy! I love cannellini beans

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, darling. Enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I didn’t realize your husband is also from Ukraine – when did he leave?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In 1974. He was a child, turned 11 here. he speaks Russian fluently, though, but doesn’t read or write.

      Like

      1. Was he raised in an observant family?

        Like

      2. Not at all. He was brought here as a child, made Tshuvah and had Bris right before his Bar Mitzvah, took a plane to Baltimore and presented himself to the Rosh Yeshivah, against his parents’ wishes. He is as Litvish as an Odessite could possibly be, which is a funny combination with my Chassidishe background.

        Like

    2. P.S. We don’t really consider Odessa part of Ukraine. It had been independent before the revolution and should be so again.

      Like

      1. Interesting 🤔

        Like

      2. Thank you, David.

        Like

  9. Looking appetising

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Derrick.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging, dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Dorothy.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. HI Dolly, I had never bought these beans before but the other day my store only had cannellini beans so I bought some. Perfect timing to make this salad.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am glad to hear it, dear Robbie, and I hope you like it. Thank you for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. chattykerry says:

    That’s a great recipe for Teddy’s new diet regime – thank you! The news from Ukraine must be very hard for you, Dolly. I am thinking of you and my dear Ukrainian friend from Egypt/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The news is very distressing, Kerry, and I thank you for understanding and compassion. This is indeed a good recipe for your husband’s diet, as are many more recipes I feature. With my husband and my younger son, I have become an expert on cardio- and cholesterol management diet.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. chattykerry says:

        My thoughts are with the people of Ukraine. K x

        Like

  12. The Quitter says:

    New ways to use beans is certainly appropriate if wheat starts to be scarce in the current situation. Def going to try this.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for a thoughtful comment, dear friend.

      Like

  13. Marlapaige says:

    I hope you guys enjoy the show and got home in time!
    Also, every time I read “Boss” in reference to your husband, I immediately thought “OMG! She’s married to Bruce Springsteen!!!” But I know he’s married to Patti, so I just giggled at my silliness lol

    Like

    1. We certainly did, thank you for asking! Haven’t been to the opera since B.C. (before Covid). The Boss is simply a translation from Russian ‘Nachal’nik” which actually means someone who manages or commands.

      Like

  14. Lulu: “Our Dada says his Nana used to make salads with beans all the time. Her specialty was something called three-bean salad!”
    Charlee: “Three beans? That’s not very many.”
    Lulu: “I think it was more than three beans, but three different KINDS of beans.”
    Charlee: “Ohhh, that makes more sense.”

    Like

    1. Mama makes that too, but Moroccan style. We tried to help her count the beans, but she told us to get off the kitchen counter. So mean when we were only being helpful!
      The Cat Gang

      Like

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging, dear friend.

      Like

  15. Italian food and culture can hardly be beaten by anything else. I hope you had a nice evening! Best wishes, Michael

    Like

    1. Thank you so much, dear Michael.

      Like

  16. Anita says:

    This sounds so tasty.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much, dear Anita.

      Like

  17. Ooo, I’m certainly going to try this one. It suits my diet too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad, darling! Thak you for stopping by, and please let me know how it comes out.

      Like

    1. Thank you for reblogging, Jonathan.

      Liked by 1 person

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