Weekend Fare: Tomato Basil Bean Salad

This is an orginal recipe I came up with for a picnic using ingredients I had on hand.  The tomato and basil came straight from the garden. This can be served at room temperature or for fuller more balanced flavors, chill for 1 hour before serving. It is a perfect picnic dish because nothing will spoil. Have a great weekend!

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TOMATO BASIL BEAN SALAD
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1 – 16 oz. can white beans, drained & rinsed
1 med. red onion, finely diced
1/4 c. fresh basil, finely chopped or chiffonade
3-4 c. fresh cherry tomatoes, halved*
1/2 c. mozerralla cheese, small diced or shredded**
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. olive oil
2-3 Tb. balsamic vinegar

Gently combine all ingredients. Chill, garnish with fresh basil (opt) & serve.  Makes 8-10 side dish servings.

* I used a combination of three types of small tomatoes including yellow pear which gave great color and flavor but is not necessary.
** Since I used everything that I already had on hand, I used shredded Italian Blend cheese.  I would have prefered to use a fresh mozzerella or a block of mozzerella cubed.

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