Summer Bean Salads: Greek Butter Bean Salad With Tomatoes, Dill, and Oregano
Gigantes plaki (Greek-style baked beans) are one of my favorite comforting staples. For our summer bean salad series, I decided to riff on the concept, enveloping the beans with a vinegar-spiked tomato base—the key to making this work as a salad is giving them an extra blast of acidity.
This version uses canned butter beans and incorporates fresh dill and parsley, along with dried oregano and a pinch of cinnamon, a commingling of flavors that not only works but works well. Because beans tend to soak up flavor, always taste-test before serving, adding additional seasonings as needed. A good rule of thumb? Trust your taste buds—don't overdo it, but don't be shy.
Unlike some of the other bean salads in this series, this one uses herbs not just as a finishing ingredient, but as an essential foundation of flavor. Add them as specified so the flavors can develop properly. It's worth noting that I prefer dried oregano for the specific flavor it adds here; if you decide to use fresh instead, you'll want to roughly double the amount to get the same concentration of flavor.
The salad is best at room temperature, and makes a great addition to a Mediterranean-style spread. Just remove it from the refrigerator and let it rest on the counter while you prepare any accompaniments.