Summer is here in Southern California, and it’s been really, really HOT!

Here near the ocean it’s usually a milder 80 degrees at the most, but last week in our back garden the temperature meter read 100 degrees. {We are seriously thinking about getting air conditioning! It was never needed before, but it seems our coastal temperatures are changing.}


This easy French summer salad is the perfect meal on a hot summery day!  Being in the French countryside is completely optional!




In these hot summer months, I mostly serve large, fresh salads for dinner, accompanied with a protein of some sort.  We often eat outside, in the back garden, because it’s such a beautiful spot.

I try to grow my own fresh herbs in a box quite near the kitchen entrance, so I can just go outside and snip what I need. This year’s basil crop is abundant, so I’m using it in everything!



This is an easy, delicious white bean salad that is great to make ahead and keep cold in the refrigerator, the longer the beans are in the dressing the better they taste! I had it once in France and have been a lover of this easy summer dish ever since!



It’s so easy and comes together in about five minutes, especially if you “cheat” and make it with canned beans. I try to find non-GMO beans to use.



I rinse the beans under cold water and let them drain.  Meanwhile I chop the onion, and gather the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper.



When we were in Italy last October, we visited a balsamic producer, who taught us the difference between balsamic vinegars, the longer they age, the sweeter they are and the more expensive. While you don’t have to spend a lot, the balsamic vinegar you use for this recipe should be aged.



Basically you should be able to drink a spoon of it without making a “sour” face!  The bottle I used was from Trader Joe’s, it’s a little bottle for around $5.00 but a little goes a long way.  I make this salad in a glass container with a snap on lid, and cool it in the fridge. I turn the box upside down a few times whenever I open the fridge during the day, so that every single bean gets a coating of that delicious balsamic vinaigrette.


On a side note: aren’t these BEE towels so, so cute?  They are French Country style, but actually designed in the English countryside! I love them, and have been using them every day here at FrenchGardenHouse, in the kitchen at the sink, to line our basket for French bread, and outside for all sorts of things, including setting the table for alfresco meals.



There is something about the bees that just says SUMMER to me!  Linens are such a simple, inexpensive way to liven up your home!



To celebrate summer, I’m having a sale on selected linen designs in the shop right now.  I will be shopping at market this month for our fall and winter holiday collection, so it’s time for a sale. Everybody wins!


Shop early, because some of your favorite designs are almost sold out!  GO DIRECTLY TO THE SALE ITEMS, or read the recipe first and then click on the link at the bottom of the post. {please, no fighting!}



Now for that easy recipe I promised to share with you:


French Country White Bean Salad

2 cans white beans, cannelloni is what I use, rinsed and drained

1 finely chopped onion {I use a purple onion}


3 large spoons of olive oil

2 or more large spoons of good quality balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste


Drain and rinse the beans in cold water.   Chop the onion finely, and combine with the drained beans in a bowl. At this point I add chopped fresh basil.

Prepare the vinaigrette with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, using a fork to mix. Gently add the vinaigrette to the beans and onion, and add chopped basil to taste. Sometimes I add chopped small tomatoes from the garden to this mix. Serve cold.

Wonderful served all by itself as a starter, or layer on top of mixed greens, and add some more of the balsamic vinegar.




You can shop our Stylish Bees Linens and others that are on sale by clicking the photo below. 





à bientôt


Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours. Visit our shop


  1. Maria A Trunzo

    I use 3 to 4 kinds of can beans for my bean salad. Cannellini beans, kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, etc. Also I use cooked pasta with leftover cold meats to make a one dish meal.

    1. Maria, I am sure that is delicious too! I will try that, although I have to say that I love the ease of just a few ingredients, adding different varieties of beans would certainly make it more colorful!

    1. I hope you make this for your husband then, Sandra, it really is good. Last night I put it on top of mixed greens, added a few dashes of the balsamic vinegar, and Mr. FrenchGardenHouse declared it delicious!

  2. I read this post while hungry for breakfast, so I went to the kitchen and threw it together with some chopped rotisserie chicken and cucumber. Absolutely delicious!

  3. That sounds wonderful! I’m going to try that next time, and then, together with a glass of rose and a crusty French bread, call it a meal!

  4. Chandra

    Lidy, this salad looks delicious! Paired, as you mention with crusty French bread and…what is your favorite rose???

    1. Chandra, if you want an exceptional French Rose for a special occasion (around 24.00 bottle) this is the one:La Chappelle Gordonne, France. I love this Italian one – Falesco Vitiate Rosato Umbria 2016, {11.00} and this one from France VRAC, {10.00 a bottle} too! I hope I don’t get hate mail for saying this, but with rose, I find I am not that awfully picky, sometimes I just go to our Trader Joe’s and ask one of the guys there which one is good, and buy an inexpensive one.

  5. Chris Roberts

    Off to the store today and get ingredients for spinach and berry salad
    Going back to Whidbey and planning on making your yummy salad
    Did you see my Instagram with my son holding all the crab we got ?
    Have a great day Liidy ???

    1. You are welcome. It’s easy, inexpensive and good for you. We are having it for dinner again tonight!

  6. Nancy Davies

    Yum!! I love a bean salad. It is winter here in the Southern Hemisphere so I shall keep this recipe and have in on a lovely Spring day to chase away the Winter blues.

  7. Mary coleman

    Thank you as always darling Lidy! I am off to the store with dinner “solved” by 11:22 a.m.! XOX,m

  8. This sounds insanely good, Lidy. I really watch my carbs but I think a side dish of this salad would be the best treat and give us a lot of protein. Thanks so much!

    I think the heat is everywhere. Blog friends in Europe and Canada are experiencing the same heat. Its been close to 100 for weeks here in Chicago and Michigan, where I’m at now. Still, it’s better than freezing cold temps and snow!

    Jane x

  9. Alice Genzlinger

    I love bean salads and eat them as a meal sometimes. I will make your bean salad because I have two cans of Canelli beans in the pantry and the Basel is getting favorite bean salad is as follows: 2 cans black beans drained and washed, 2 cans white shoe peg corn drained, 2 cans Rotel tomato’s drained, 1 bunch scallions finely chopped, 1 bunch celantro chopped, 4 Tblsp olive oil, zest and juice of one lime, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and serve. Enjoy!

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