I’m going to clear the air.
You are here expecting a white bean salad. I know it. I absolutely know it.
And now you’re sitting there. Looking at these pictures. And saying to yourself, “What in the world is that girl smoking and how can I get me some of it.”
Well, I can tell you that this is what happens when you buy a bag of magic beans without even realizing it. Beans that, apparently, cook in twenty minutes. (Who has ever heard of such a thing!)
Beans that you leave, unwittingly, simmering on the stove for at least 40 minutes.
Because every instruction that you’ve ever seen for cooking raw beans says “at least two hours”. So you fill up your time accordingly. You take a shower. You think about cleaning your room. You think about putting away your laundry. You think about learning the side effects for all thirty of the anxiolytic drugs that you are supposed to know by next Wednesday. (Really, who knew you were such an introspective person?)
And then when you finally exhaust your thinking capacity and return to the stove. You find mush. You check the clock to make sure you haven’t gotten stuck in some kind of fast forwarding time warp. Nope. Forty minutes. Mush.
What can you do?
So I’m just putting it out there. This is mush in salad form. But it’s okay. Because caramelized carrots mixed with lemon juice, brown sugar and olive oil taste a bit like a symphony when put together, the different flavors melding and working together to make one coherent, illuminating whole. And the white beans just tie it all together. Mushed. Or not.
Carrot, Dill, and White Bean Salad
Serves 4 for lunch, 6-8 as a side, adapted from 101 Cookbooks
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup shallots, chopped
3 cups cooked white beans (about 1 1/2 cups raw)
2 cups carrots, sliced at 1/4 inch thickness on a bias
1/4 cup chopped, fresh dill
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, and shallots. Mix until combined and let sit.
2. Heat a splash of olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots and let cook until golden brown, tossing every 3-4 minutes, about 12 minutes. Add the beans and dill to the skillet and cook until heated through.
3. Pour the white bean/carrot mixture into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the olive oil/lemon dressing along with 2 tbsp brown sugar. Add salt, lemon, and sugar to taste. Stir in the sliced almonds.