Dear readers,

There has been so much going on in our life recently, that this is the first time I have sat down to share a recipe with you guys in almost 3 months! It is difficult to put into words just how much our life is changing right now, so while I share the recipe for this beautiful heirloom cattle bean summer salad with you, I am also going to be sharing what is probably one of the most exciting times of our life to date.

Knowing your calling & pursuing it with all your heart is the path to fulfillment…for my hubby, he has known his whole life that he is called to return to Greece – and when we met, my calling to be with him there was realized. For a few of you reading this you already understand what my hubby and I are working toward, but today we felt compelled to give you all some insight into our life and the future of ful-filled. Everything we have been working toward over the last 15 years has been purposed to bring us to the point where we can relocate to Greece and begin the work that we are called to. We are starting a non-profit organization that installs community gardens and farms all over Greece, so that no matter what circumstances plague the people, they will be fed. Giving as many Greeks & war refugees possible the means to feed their family and the opportunity to have a livelihood that is truly enriching for themselves and their community

This my friends, is the future of ful-filled. Our workshops will be held in Greece and the revenue that is generated from each workshop will fund the ministry work to feed not only the people of Greece, but eventually, people all over the world. We are truly grateful to every single one of you for helping us get to where we are today and we cannot wait to share more with you as progress is made to making this calling come to reality. The journey to starting this work has been long, but we are finally starting to see it come into view and we will begin working in Greece next year! Every day my hubby and I look at each other as we ask ourselves if this is really happening, but it is my friends…and as surreal as it feels to be planning to work in Greece next year, it is actually happening! As you can probably imagine, this little space that we share here on the internet is going to change quite a bit. The food and stories I share here will be heavily influenced by our life in Greece, as we immerse ourselves into the culture of the people we have been called to serve.

heirloom cattle bean summer salad heirloom cattle beans heirloom cattle beans

Exciting times right!? Now, lets talk about these beans! When I decided to participate in Slow Food Sacramento’s mystery ingredient challenge to kick off Farm to Fork month here in California, I was delighted to receive these beautiful heirloom cattle beans grown by local Northern California farmer Elegant Beans. These cattle beans are part of the Ark of Taste, a campaign that is meant to preserve heritage varieties of produce that are at risk of extinction. I began to imagine what I would create with these unique heirloom beans and because my mind has been seeing things through a Greek perspective recently, I thought about the marinated bean and vegetable salads that my mother-in-law makes every summer.

Simple, seasonal and fresh, this heirloom cattle bean summer salad was born from a stroll through the farmers market for inspiration. The petite green beans, the vibrant cherry tomatoes, and the fresh fennel bulb with gorgeous fronds of greens – every ingredient just felt right in the moment that I laid eyes on them.

heirloom cattle bean summer salad fennel

Things I love about this salad: I love that these beans retained their beautiful markings, even after cooking, which was such a wonderful surprise (and if you have never cooked your beans with aromatics, then you are missing out) – I also love that this salad is so flexible, meaning, you can use any combination of vegetables you find in season that inspire you! Dressed simply with a blend of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic & salt, this salad tastes best after it marinates in the fridge for a day or two before eating, making it a great dish to prep over the weekend and enjoy as a quick meal throughout the week.

heirloom cattle bean summer salad heirloom cattle bean summer salad

While there is an overwhelming sense of joy and celebration in our hearts as we prepare to work in Greece next year, it is counter-balanced with the reality that there is so…much…to…do! As we wrap up all of our projects for 2017, in the background we are having to plan and prep for the daunting task of living on the other side of the globe next year. So, if my blog posts are far and few between, please understand that it is only because there is just not enough time for me to do blog with all that we have going on. But be assured that this is really just the beginning of what is going to be a beautiful journey that we truly hope you all join us on!

In the mean time, this heirloom cattle bean summer salad is a really good way to enjoy the last bit of summer produce while it is still here, because although it is September, summer is not over quite yet, and you better believe that I am going to eat as much summer produce as possible before its all over…

Until next time,

bella :)

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon


  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 as a side salad 1x


Units Scale
  • 1 cup dried cattle beans (you can find these at elegantbeans.com)
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, divided
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 or 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 lb fresh petite french green beans, blanched (or regular green beans cut into pieces – about 3″ in length)
  • 1 bulb fennel with fronds, bulb shaved and fronds reserved for garnish
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper



  1. Start by rinsing the beans and then soaking them in a bowl with 8 cups of cold water and 1 tbsp of salt, soak the beans overnight (mine soaked for about 12 hours)
  2. Drain soaking liquid from beans, add beans to a medium stockpot with plenty of water to cover them, 1 tsp of salt, 1 clove of garlic, bay leaves and rosemary.
  3. Bring beans to a simmer over medium heat, skim off any foam that accumulates on the surface and then set heat to low and simmer beans for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally until beans are soft (make sure beans stay submerged the whole time)
  4. When beans are finished cooking, they should be soft and creamy on the inside. Drain beans from cooking water, remove garlic clove, bay leaves and rosemary stems
  5. Allow beans to cool to room temperature
  6. While the cattle beans cool, blanch your green beans, halve your cherry tomatoes, and shave the fennel, reserving about 1/2 cup of the fennel greens to be added to the salad


  1. Mince 1 clove of garlic (I use a microplane zester for this) and add to a small bowl with the juice of 1 lemon, olive oil, a pinch of salt and some fresh cracked black pepper – whisk dressing until well combined


  1. Combine blanched green beans, cooled cattle beans, halved cherry tomatoes, shaved fennel and dressing to a bowl
  2. Chop the reserved fennel greens and add to salad bowl
  3. Toss the salad until all of the ingredients are well coated in dressing – enjoy immediately or for best results, cover and allow salad to marinate in the fridge for a day or two


*if you cannot find cattle beans, you can substitute with any other small bean ie; kidney beans, garbanzo beans, canellini beans, etc

  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Category: salad
{ 30 comments… add one }
  • Vy September 10, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Bella I’m so excited and happy to hear your dreams are happening!! It’s been so inspiring to see what you’ve done and will do! Will keep you and your hubby in my prayers! Funny enough we’re planning a trip up north next year with a stop in Roseville. Hopefully I can say hi!

    • bella | ful-filled September 10, 2017, 9:18 pm

      Aw…thank you so much Vy! It is a crazy exciting time in our life! And yes, if you make it to Roseville we MUST meet up!

  • Sonia September 11, 2017, 8:25 am

    Bellaaaa! Huge congrats to you and your husband. What you describe as your calling to serve the people of Greece…it’s remarkable. I can’t wait to piggy-back along on your journey.

    • bella | ful-filled September 11, 2017, 9:02 am

      Thank you so much Sonia! We appreciate your support and encouragement more than you know!

  • Carolyn September 11, 2017, 12:32 pm

    So very exciting Bella! Looking forward to follow your journey. Loving this salad, I have some extra Cattle beans so I’ll make tonight!

    • bella | ful-filled September 11, 2017, 10:31 pm

      Thank you so much Carolyn! Yay for cattle beans! See you soon!

  • Sandie September 11, 2017, 8:11 pm

    Another amazing recipe Bella! Also wishing you the best as you pursue a truly meaningful goal.

  • Dale Gray September 12, 2017, 11:58 am

    So excited for you Bella!

    • bella | ful-filled September 14, 2017, 4:14 pm

      Thank you sweet Dale!

  • Heather Kennedy September 12, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Bella! This is amazing news. It’s hard to believe how far things have come since we first sat down over our matcha lattes at Pete’s and talked about our visions for the future. I’m incredibly proud of you and all that you have built & accomplished in Sacramento. Cannot wait to follow your life journey in Greece. I love you and congratulations!

    • bella | ful-filled September 13, 2017, 9:03 am

      Thank you so much Heather, from the bottom of my heart! I pinch myself every day as it is so hard to believe that this vision of ours is actually coming to life! Your love and support means the world!

  • betty September 12, 2017, 6:38 pm

    So, so exciting and so proud of you and your hubby! I can’t wait to follow along your journey (both on IG and IRL… hehe hopefully?) – hugs and talk soon!

    • bella | ful-filled September 14, 2017, 4:08 pm

      Aw, thank you SO much Betty! And yes IRL too for sure!

  • Valeria September 12, 2017, 7:09 pm

    That’s so wonderful, Bella! Very happy for you! :)

    • bella | ful-filled September 14, 2017, 4:10 pm

      Thank you Valeria! Hope you are well! <3

  • Alison M Marras September 13, 2017, 4:27 am

    So excited for you guys! This is a beautiful mission. Hope to visit in Greece on day!

    • bella | ful-filled September 14, 2017, 4:08 pm

      Thank you so much Alison! I hope so too!

  • michelle @ hummingbird high September 13, 2017, 8:37 am

    wow, what an exciting new adventure! and for such a great cause too. so excited for you guys!!! can’t wait to follow along on your adventures. xo

    • bella | ful-filled September 14, 2017, 4:11 pm

      thank you Michelle! we really appreciate your support! <3

  • Haley | Brewing Happiness September 14, 2017, 2:04 pm

    CONGRATS! What a huge amazing leap. It’s so beautiful to see people chase their dreams passionately. Sending you a big hug! xo

    • bella | ful-filled September 14, 2017, 4:13 pm

      Thank you SO much Haley, you are so sweet! It is surreal that it is actually finally happening!

  • Sasha Swerdloff September 15, 2017, 8:27 am

    This looks so simple and satisfying. I’m always looking for new salad recipes…

  • Niko September 15, 2017, 11:13 am

    Yeshua Hach Mischia YHWH

  • Niko September 15, 2017, 11:13 am

    Yeshua Hach Mischia YHWH

  • Niko September 15, 2017, 11:14 am

    Papa PaPa PAPA for EVERYTHING!!!

  • Erin Clarkson September 15, 2017, 7:49 pm

    Ahhhhh I can’t wait to follow along! xxx

  • Christiann Koepke September 16, 2017, 4:32 pm

    This looks like the perfect end of summer salad!!! -CK

  • Laura (A Beautiful Plate) September 17, 2017, 5:45 am

    Those beans are some of the prettiest beans I’ve ever seen! They really do look like cattle markings. This salad looks so nourishing and delicious!! Loving all the flavors!

    • bella | ful-filled September 18, 2017, 11:26 am

      Aren’t they!? Thank you Laura…it was vibrant and fresh…the perfect way to bid adieu to summer!

  • todd wagner September 20, 2017, 2:53 pm

    Sending you my best from California!! This is so so exciting AND thank you for sharing this amazing salad, Bella!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.