It’s a great quick 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.
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.
If you 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.
So if you need an easy, high protein & very green meal for your weeknight dinner or packed lunches, make this healthy white bean salad. Then add some bread because mental health is important too.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- White beans: little white beans are ideal here because you want a larger sauce to bean ratio, but chickpeas and larger white beans make good substitutions.
- Greens: use any baby greens you like raw for this recipe. Peppery rucola (rocket/arugula) is excellent, but spinach, chard, and even lamb’s lettuce are all good.
- Cilantro: if you don’t like cilantro, use parsley instead. It’s a bit harder to make sure you only use the leaves and blend very well. Basil is nice too if you want it to be reminiscent of pesto.
I use an immersion 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.
This is a lovely recipe if you have a garden, even just a few pots for herbs, because it uses a handful each of cilantro and mint. I very highly recommend growing mint in a pot even if you have very little space, as it grows in virtually any conditions. Don’t plant it in the ground unless you want mint everywhere, though.
How to Store
Storage: the salad will keep for a few days in a sealed container in the refrigerator, stored without the bread.
Freezing: I haven’t tried freezing this because I don’t think the herbs in the dressing will taste good once thawed.
- Control the acidity: I prefer this with a little vinegar added, but like acidic food. If you don’t want that, leave the vinegar out altogether.
- Season to taste: the dressing carries the meal, so it must be seasoned based on your preference, as beans are quite bland alone.
- Serve with other add-ins: a nice crusty bread, sliced very thinly, would make an excellent sub for the flatbread. Some cherry tomatoes or cucumber would make nice additions as well.
More Very Green Recipes
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White Bean Salad with Herb Dressing
- 6 shallots quartered lengthwise
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 400 grams small white beans cooked
- 1 batch Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
- 70 grams rucola or other greens
- ½ batch spelt naan
Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
- 60 ml olive oil
- 10 grams mint
- 10 grams cilantro
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- Zest 1 lemon
- Juice 1 lemon
- 1-2 teaspoons white wine vinegar to taste (optional)*
- ½ teaspoon sumac**
- ½ teaspoon sea salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). 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.6 shallots, 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Place the beans in a medium bowl and stir in the herb vinaigrette until the beans are fully coated.400 grams small white beans, 1 batch Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
- 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.70 grams rucola or other greens, 1/2 batch spelt naan
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.60 ml olive oil, 10 grams mint, 10 grams cilantro, 1 clove garlic, Zest 1 lemon, Juice 1 lemon, 1-2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon sumac**, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.