Salad with Beans and Sausage


I was recently reading some of my French cookbooks, with the intention of having a French food night with friends, hopefully sooner than later. I’ve previously done this with Indian and Chinese cuisines, serving about 8 different dishes each time, just for the love of those cuisines.

When I was reading Patricia Wells’s book Bistro Cooking, I spotted a recipe I’d bookmarked years ago. I just had to make it.

It’s a salad of dressed greens, topped with warm white beans, warm smoked sausage, then topped with pistachios and chives. Sounds incredible, right?!

From Ms. Wells, “I’m crazy about composed salads, anything with a healthy bed of greens, on which you layer a mixture of full-flavored ingredients.” She was inspired to create this salad after a “mid-fall lunch at Paris’s Quai d’Orsay.”

She recommends using lingots, French white beans, and saucisse de Morteau, sausage from the Jura. And she suggests a young red, just slightly chilled, perhaps a Saumur-Champigny from the Loire.

The closest I found were sausages from Toulouse, the same sausage used in Cassoulet, and I substituted flageolets for the lingots, cause they’re French and in my pantry and I couldn’t find the French ones, which are a white kidney bean. Who knew?!

Salads aux Lingots et Saucisse de Morteau Quai D’Orsay

10 ounces dried white beans
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 bay leaves
Several sprigs of fresh thyme

4 shallots, minced
1/3 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

10 ounces smoked pork sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
Several sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 cup dry white wine

2 cups young curly endive, cleaned, dried, torn into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup salted pistachio nuts
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

Rinse the beans. Place them in a large saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, remove the pan from the heat. Set aside, covered, for 40 minutes. Drain the beans, discarding the cooking liquid. Rinse the beans and cover again with cold water. Add the oil, bay leaves, and thyme and bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender, about 1 hour. The beans should not be mushy, rather cooked through but firm. Add salt to taste.

Whisk the shallots with the lemon juice and salt in a small bowl. Add the oil in a steady stream and whisk until blended. Season to taste. (I just used a jar.)

Drain the beans thoroughly. Add half of the dressing to the beans/ set aside and keep warm.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown on all sides, being careful not to pierce it. Add the thyme, bay leaf, onion, garlic, and wine, and bring just to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Drain. Set aside and keep warm.

Place the greens in a large, shallow salad bowl. Pour on the remaining dressing and toss gently.

Divide the greens among 4 large plates, spreading the greens out and pressing them down to lie flat. Place several spoonfuls of the beans in the center. Cut the sausage into thin slices. Arrange them in a fan-like fashion around the edge of the beans.

Sprinkle with the pistachios and chives.

Serve warm.

White beans would have definitely been prettier, but this salad was spectacular.

37 thoughts on “Salad with Beans and Sausage

  1. Thank you for reminding me to go back to my French cookbooks and try something new. That salad looks marvelous. I personally love the flageolets, but, like fava beans, I can’t find them here in Central Pennsylvania.

    • It’s always a good idea to go read older cookbooks of all cuisines. Gems. I just loved this recipe even though I had to substitute two main ingredients!

  2. Patricia Wells is I such a gifted cook but I don’t have any books . Thanks for giving us this great recipe. Sausage with salad and beans, perfect.

    • I saw her at an Aspen food and wine festival in 1994. She seemed like a snot, but she is talented and certainly passionate.

  3. I love that book, thought I have never made this salad. I actually have Saucisses de Toulouse in the freezer so now all I need to do is see if my white beans are still good! (How long do dried beans last before they are too old? Do you know?)

    • Sheesh. I think they last forever unless they get moldy or sprout. How exciting! Us food bloggers are funny! Who else would say that they happen to have saucisses de Toulouse ! Since we’ve shared opinions of snotty people, I wasn’t impressed with Patricia when I attended a couple of talks/demos with her in 1994. Very much the nose stuck up in the air. On the other end was Julia Child, who was a hoot, and Marcella Hazan, who could have been my best friend with as much wine I saw her consume!

      • I’m so glad you thought that about her, as I did, too. Someone give me a book about her life to read and I was bored by the second chapter with how fantastic she thought she was. Her food is good, though … I can ignore the personality for that. And I adore Hazan — what an amazing woman. I always think of her as the Italian Julia Child. And I miss both of those two…

        I actually wondered if my sausages were the same brand, but no. Got mine from a local French bakery (along with boudin noir). I was told that old beans don’t cook well. But I will text and tell you!

      • Now you’re just showing off, with all of your market people and local shops! If you think your beans are that old, throw them away. I mean, they’re 99 cents a pound!

  4. I think I have all her books, great salad. In my early thirties I visited Paris and used her first book as a guide to markets and restaurants as well as areas to visit. She is a prize although it doesn’t sound like she was much fun. Thanks for reminding me of this book.

  5. It’s not often that sausage is served with salad. I love this idea. That looks like terrific sausage! I hope you are healing well :-)

    • Just got my cast off today. A painful re-has, but worth it. I’ve already scheuled my left thumb. Getting old has some issues!!!!

  6. Oh, I need to make this one. I have some dried Cannellini beans, so those will just have to do. I don’t have the saucisses de toulouse, but do have have some very nice homemade sausage in the freezer I shall use. A perfect dinner on a warm evening.

  7. I love the idea of a themed night revolving around a certain cuisine. We sorta did that on a smaller scale back when we hosted a murder mystery night that was set in an Italian restaurant. Now I need to find a French murder mystery so I can make this dish – sounds delicious!

    • What a fabulous idea! I have friends who haven’t been “exposed” to various cuisines, for whatever reasons, and sharing a beautiful cuisine like Indian is so much fun. You can just see the happiness in their eyes when they taste curried whatever for the first time!

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