Beans are Front and Center in Mediterranean Diets UncategorizedBean Bulletin, Cooking When it comes to Mediterranean-style meals, most people think of vegetables sautéed in olive oil, broiled fish, and maybe a glass of red wine. But protein-rich plant foods like beans figure prominently in Mediterranean cuisine. They may be the main ingredient in soups and stews or play a supporting role in salads and pasta dishes. Try these three approaches to featuring beans in Mediterranean meals: Simmer white beans with fresh tomatoes, garlic, onions, and Italian herbs for a rustic main dish with Sicilian roots. Toss cooked pasta with kidney beans, olive oil and herbs for a quick picnic dish. Open and rinse a can of beans and add to a green salad for a warm weather meal when you don’t feel like cooking.