I started seeds today! We’re a bit late – the last frost was a while ago already, but most of our garden is still bricks right now, so not too worried on that front. We’re going pretty big this year and filling the entire front, back, and side garden of our row house with veggies and edible flowers for my work. I chose mostly pretty standard vegetables, with a couple more exciting varieties (lemon cucumbers, curly cucumbers, and dragon’s tongue beans, for example) but we don’t have a pile of space.
The plan is to use what space we do have to the best possible advantage, with trellises and vertical planting, intensive gardening, and succession planting. We’re lucky to have a fairly large space on the south side with a brick wall, so it will hopefully be warm enough there for some nightshades to thrive. We haven’t had too much luck with the types of plants that do well in Manitoba here in northern Europe, like tomatoes and hot peppers, and won’t have a greenhouse this season. Fingers crossed. Otherwise, the rain-loving crops should be happy.
This is the only time I’ll write this much about our garden on a recipe post, because there will be a new blog section starting this year dedicated to organic gardening. (Plus a section on green renovating, I hope.) So if you’re completely bored by this, don’t worry, it’s just this once. Let’s talk about this super green white bean salad!
It’s a great quick and dirty recipe, with a base of cooked or canned white beans, a vivid green lemon/herb/sumac dressing, some roasted shallots, a base of greens, and a little vegan naan to round things out. The beans, when combined with the dressing, turn into a creamy pale green dream. The idea behind this was a bit different than the outcome, but I love it.
There are a few ways you could really speed up this salad. Instead of roasting the shallots, try slicing them paper thin and having them raw, or use quick pickled red onions if you already have them on hand. Use store bought naan or another bread, or substitute quinoa or another grain in its place (although the beans with the naan are easily the best part of this recipe). The dressing takes 30 seconds and the beans are already cooked, so the main part of the salad comes together in five minutes.
Want to have bread but you’re a little nervous about making your own yeasted bread? Make the white bean salad, but serve it in a wrap with spelt tortillas instead – they only take about 15 minutes to make, no yeast or true kneading skills needed. But if you’ve never made bread and want to start, naan is definitely the way to go.
A few substitution possibilities will work here. Try chickpeas in place of the white beans – you’ll just lose some of the creamy aspect – or even black beans, which will taste good but might not look as nice. Just about any type of greens can be used for the base, so use what you have. Don’t like cilantro? Use parsley. I use a stick blender (the best small electronic you’ll ever get for your kitchen) to make the dressing, but a small blender or food processor will work. Or double the recipe, why not?
So if you need an easy, high protein & very green meal to get you through until spring properly begins, make this healthy white bean salad. Then add some bread because mental health is important too.
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- 400 grams / 2 cups small white beans, cooked
- 1 batch Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
- 70 grams / 3 cups rucola or other greens
- 1/2 batch spelt naan
- 6 shallots, quartered lengthwise
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
- 60 ml / 1/4 cup olive oil
- 10 grams / 1/2 cup mint
- 10 grams / 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- Zest 1 lemon
- Juice 1 lemon
- 1-2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, to taste (optional)*
- 1/2 teaspoon sumac**
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F. Place the shallots cut side up on a baking sheet, topped with the olive oil and salt. Roast for about 20 minutes, until cooked through and slightly crispy.
- Place the beans in a medium bowl and stir in the herb vinaigrette until the beans are fully coated.
- To assemble the salad, add a handful of the greens to the bottom of each bowl, then top with 1/4 of the beans and shallots. Add a piece of naan to each bowl and serve.
Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
- Place all of the ingredients into a tall container and blend on high with an immersion blender until smooth. Alternatively, use a small standing blender or food processor.
* I prefer this with a little vinegar, but like acidic food. If you don't want that, leave the vinegar out.
** If you can't find or don't have sumac, just leave it out. It adds an additional citrus flavour.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 622Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 14gSodium: 670mgCarbohydrates: 102gFiber: 17gSugar: 4gProtein: 19g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.