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.

Le sigh.

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.

I am submitting this to Souper Sunday, which is hosted over at Kahakai Kitchen, and to My Legume Love Affair, which is being hosted at Lisa’s Kitchen.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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105 Responses to Carrot, Dill, and White Bean Salad

  1. Simply Life says:

    oh I bet that’s good – I would have never known it if you didn’t say it was a mistake!

  2. Mushed white bean and carrot salad works for me. Remember, I grew up in the south where things were often overcooked and, I must admit, delicious!
    Sometimes I head over to Cracker Barrel and order up some vegetables for a taste of home. Maybe today!


  3. carrot and white bean, what a fabulous “union”, I love it and sometimes I just add some cumin powder.
    have a nice day
    bises from France

  4. Nice filling combo in the salad! Well, next time you be cautious with this magic beans, ahem “white beans”

  5. I would eat this “mush” any day! Love the flavors and how healthy it is! perfect!

  6. Those were some fast cooking beans! I love hummus so I’m sure I wouldn’t mind mushy bean salad at all! I love the sound of the shallots and caramelized carrots in this.

  7. Dawn says:

    never would have thought of adding dill. such a great idea!!! adding this to the “must try” list.

  8. Mo Diva says:

    oh hunny that is the most beautiful and delicious sounding fail i have ever see! i would TOTALLY dig that… and i have never made dried beans before.. for that reason. I was cooking pasta last night and i set the time for 12 minutes becuase according to the box 12 minutes would yiled AL DENTE pasta… yeah. after 8 minutes i took a bite and realized if left to 12 minutes I would have mashed potato pasta. yucks.
    At least you made hte best of it. Still sounds freakin delish!

  9. Kristen says:

    It’s just like a bean “potato” salad….seems like a wonderful flavor combination, regardless of the texture.

  10. Raina says:

    I like my veggies mushy; so I think I would like beans that way too. Come to think of it, I like a lot of my foods mushy. Mushy food rocks..lol It looks and sounds delicious.

  11. That Girl says:

    I’ve had something very similar occur with potato salad.

  12. Mo says:

    Hahaha aww, I’m sorry your beans turned out mush. They were probably REALLY young… I have beans in my cabinet older than I am and they take all day to cook. XD

    I’m sure it tastes wonderful anyway. And I’m impressed that you decided to go through with actually making it. I would have just thrown a fit and them out. 😛

  13. Katerina says:

    I thought beans take time to cook too. At least Greek beans take forever to cook. I would have done the same mistake. You acted normally, those beans showed an abnormal behavior. Anyway, I can see that you didn’t let them ruin your beautiful dish.

  14. Nelly says:

    Hey, mush is not necessarily a bad thing. Here in the South, we cool it down til it sets, cut it in slices, fry it in some bacon grease and call it breakfast.

    …well, technically that is made from cornmeal mush and not bean mush. But still!

    I bet this would be a pretty awesome family-dinner-type (like Thanksgiving…) side dish, in mushed form!

  15. Megan says:

    hello gorgeous bean salad!

  16. elra says:

    Nutritious salad that enough to satisfied my carb craving.

  17. Amy says:

    “You think about cleaning your room. You think about putting away your laundry”…I like how you didn’t actually DO any of these things.

    Mushy or not, that sure doesn’t look like a flop. My failures are usually inedible. At first glance the beans look like potatoes, so you had me either way.

  18. Elizabeth says:

    Sometimes mushy is meant to be. On cold rainy days like today — a soft, comforting dish seems perfect. I’m always looking for new white bean recipes, and this one looks fantastic — a lovely lunch dish. Must try this!

  19. Join the gang babes…I end up overcooking my beans half of the times regardless of the fact that I buy the same brand always…What do u have to say abgt that 😛
    But nyway the salad looks yum and comforting

  20. Sarah S. says:

    I want some of these magic beans! Everything about this salad sounds delicious, right down to the mush.

  21. Louanne says:

    I’m all about a mushed salad – love my potato salad mushed, and um, well, I guess that’s the only salad I knowingly love mushed, but your salad, I can tell you, I know I’d love mushed, too!
    Seriously, the salad looks really delicious, and I love the flavors.

  22. Swathi says:

    Salad looks rich and creamy. Love the beans in them

  23. tigerfish says:

    Oh yes, talking about that, that is why I seldom buy raw beans to cook cos it needs planning esp when it takes “forever” to cook. :O

  24. I think the texture totally works, even if it was the product of a mistake. It looks creamy and deletable.

  25. Toni says:

    Ha! Oh how I love your life. I can’t believe there are beans that exist that only take 20 minutes. I kind of had a freak out moment when I realized lentils take about that long. Protein and fiber in 20 minutes? Really?

    The salad looks good though. Kind of like potato salad. Tell people it’s potato salad.

  26. claire says:

    I agree with Toni… those are some crazy beans!
    Although a fail, it looks AMAZING!

  27. sophia says:

    I actually kind of like it like that! All creamy and smooth! 🙂

  28. Giovanna says:

    Okay, I’m totally down with ‘mush’ when it looks that good!
    Magic beans! Was there a green giant spotted anywhere??

  29. Faith says:

    Any salad that looks as lusciously creamy and flavorful is a winner in my book! Love the bright flavor of dill in this dish!

  30. RamblingTart says:

    I LOVE that you posted your mushy salad, Joanne. 🙂 I burned a pot of potatoes this week and after frantically fanning the fire alarm to make it shut up, I gently scooped off the layer not sticking to the bottom, and they weren’t too bad. A mite campfire-ish, though. 🙂 Your mishap turned out MUCH better. 🙂

  31. Marjie says:

    Well, mush isn’t a bad thing. If it was, would anyone eat oatmeal or mashed potatoes? And if your mush was as flavorful as it looks, just tell everyone it was intentional; they’ll never know otherwise.

  32. Juno says:

    Just mouthwatering. I mean, my mouth is literally watering. The combination of white beans and dill is intriguing, and I can’t wait to try it out. Thanks for the recipe.

  33. love dill, love beans, love this!

  34. Rosabela says:

    This is an absolutely devine dish! I think I have finally found the perfect recipe to get my family to eat beans! 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  35. I take the shorter time to beans too, and i have no magic beans, jus a pressure cooker which makes things delicious,yet super fast!!

    Oh and i loveeee this salad,jus about everything in my fridge today [posted] goes well with these beans!!

  36. Rachana says:

    I would eat this “mush” any day. Yumm!!!!

  37. Eliana says:

    I would have never been able to save this one. Looks like you went from mush to glorious. Rock on amiga 🙂

  38. Karen says:

    This looks like a fantastic mistake to me! The mush salad looks delicious. Good for you to save your pots of quick-cooking beans!

  39. Victoria says:

    You know what they say… mush happens 🙂 Still looks awesome!

  40. Stella says:

    Yum, Joanne! And i was just thinking I wanted a white bean salad just like this one;)
    Ooh, and so nice the way the beans pull the salad together with their mush-that’s nice!

  41. Deborah says:

    Mush or not, this salad sounds amazing! I love anything with dill. Yum!

  42. Oh well, treat it like a thick sauce =P

  43. teresa says:

    looks pretty dang awesome to me! i think beans that have cooked for a long time taste better.

  44. Daily Spud says:

    Mush or not, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if you planted those magic beans – Joanne And The Beanstalk could be a whole new blog 😀

  45. OohLookBel says:

    You know what drew me to this salad? It looks like potato salad with all its creamy goodness (but there’s no cream it it!). I am definitely going to make this, it’s scrumptious.

  46. If it makes you feel better, it looks like particularly delicious mush! And twenty minutes is just insane 🙂

  47. Cara says:

    This reminds me of when my hubs tried to make me dinner, and chose a recipe that involved a lentil “salad”. Only, he used red lentils instead of green and stuck to the same cooking time. Yup, we totaly had lentil mush!

  48. I love the mush! Looks fantastic in that home-y imperfect kind of way that’s absolutely endearing and delicious.

    Btw, I’ll be up there not this weekend but next weekend until my interview at St. Luke’s on the 16th. Make some space in your schedule for me. Smooches!

  49. Monet says:

    I will always take mushy beans over hard beans! I have made the same “mistake” many times, but we always love them, no matter how pretty or ugly they look! I imagine that the carrot was a nice, crisp contrast to these soft beans. Thanks for sharing love!

  50. Priya says:

    Very delicious and yummy salad..

  51. Sophie says:

    A tasty & lovely bean salad! Yummie!

  52. I happen to love mushy beans! 🙂

  53. I find mushy beans taste the best!

  54. have a wonderful weekend!

    xo Alison

  55. Pam says:

    I too like mushy beans. This looks delicious!!!

  56. Christy says:

    My mom always over cooks the beans – and I much prefer mushy to undercooked! I think this “salad” looks very delicous – a dish my kids would like!

  57. Alisa Cooks says:

    Seriously, where can I get some of these amazing 20 minute beans?!!

  58. Shannon says:

    wow those are magic beans! sounds like a delicious salad 🙂

  59. Meesh says:

    looks great!

    … and where can I get some of what you were smoking? hehehe

  60. Ben says:

    But it tasted good, right? Oh, and you have to come to Mexico at the end of October to catch the last days of feria del mole and stay for Dia de Muertos. I bet you’d love it 😀

  61. That “mush” looks delicious! All of the flavors go together so well… who cares if it’s not the right texture!!

  62. Cathy says:

    That looks so yummy! It looks like a great winter evening meal! Sometimes our mistakes are the greatest successes!

    I tried your Pumpkin Ginger Blondies! Fantastic! That candied ginger gives such a great flavor to the pumpkin! Thanks for sharing.

  63. I just know I would love this! Great recipe Joanne!

  64. Claudia says:

    Salad, or soup, I guess it could work either way. Add in that bean water and voila, another choice. But, a lovely combination of elements.

  65. Justin says:

    that’s an interesting combination — i don’t think i’ve heard of it before. i’m always kind of surprised by how dill works with different foods.

  66. pleased you still shared on blog to show that we all make mistakes in the kitchen sometimes

    looks tasty though lol Rebecca

  67. 😀 when i heard “two hours to cook” i’d just go over to your place with an empty plate 😉

  68. Julie says:

    i love how this recipe is so simple yet it’s probably packed to the max with flavor 🙂 i would love this over a heaping bed of crunchy-ish soft kale 🙂

  69. It does sound like a great flavor combination. Frustrating, but at least delicious.

  70. Reeni says:

    I am a lover of white beans – mushed or not! I bet the creamy, mild beans just kind of melted into the sweet and lemony sauce. Completely delicious!

  71. Chris says:

    I never make a mistake in the kitchen or on the grill. Nu uh, not once ever.

    What? 😉

  72. Julie says:

    This looks so delicious. I would have never known it was a mistake if you hadn’t said so. Love the flavors.

  73. daphne says:

    Very tempting bean salad!!!

  74. Megan says:

    Let’s do the time warp again……

    Ok, so you’re probably too young to know that song, but that’s what I thought of when I read your sad tale about neglected beans.

    Hey, mush or not, I’ll bet it was phenomenal.

  75. Danielle says:

    I’m kinda partial to mush. And I have to say….sweet carrotie mush with dill would have to be categorized as something above “mush”.

  76. theUngourmet says:

    I’m so glad it still came together and tasted great despite the mushy beans. I hate when I spend time and money on a recipe and then have to throw it all out. This does look like a nice one. Love the fresh dill!

  77. It looks good to me.I’m sure it was delicious.

  78. Debinhawaii says:

    The “mushy” beans just make it even better as a comfort food dish. A great combination of ingredients and flavors. Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays too. 😉

  79. Donna-FFW says:

    Did you say you were smoking? Can I share?

    The salald not the weeds;)

  80. Barbara says:

    Mush is not necessarily a bad thing! Very comforting, actually.

  81. Vivienne says:

    that mushiness seems to have tied everything together…haha an extra texture you have there 🙂 healthy stuff..yummm!

  82. Haha… What kind of magic beans are these? Good of you to persevere on with the salad. I would have blended it to make a soup out of i!

  83. I love it! You could have totally passed this off as a perfect, intended rustic mash. I think I will be overcooking my beans ( in my pressure cooker of course) next time. After seeing your pics, I wouldn’t have it any other way now! Yum!

  84. I love it! You could have totally passed this off as a perfect, intended rustic mash. I think I will be overcooking my beans ( in my pressure cooker of course) next time. After seeing your pics, I wouldn’t have it any other way now! Yum!

  85. Ha! I always do that. Get started on pasta, beans, baking & chores all at the same time & poof there goes the recipe turning into mush (or burnt.) You had a nice recovery here girl. That photo with the wooden spoon is awesome. Simple & great styling all at the same time 🙂 xo

  86. That combo sounds fantastic. Who cares if they’re mushy – less chewing necessary 😉
    PS – if you haven’t already, check out the Keurig coffee machine giveaway I’m hosting!

  87. Ann says:

    Mushy beans –it’s the way I like them!

  88. Love the combo of ingredients joanne!! Yummy!

  89. nico. says:

    I love when mistakes turn out well! The spoon pictures are the best; this “salad” looks so good. I just wanted to let you know that I just posted an adaptation of one of your old recipes on my blog! 🙂

  90. Joanne, I love the idea of this salad – it sounds great and mush or no mush it still looks wonderful – in fact I’m sure a little bit of mush just enhances it 🙂

  91. Ian Low says:

    This sounds simple yet delightfully delicious and healthy at the same time 🙂

  92. Beth says:

    I love the way you’ve made something great out of a mistake. That’s the definition of a great cook!

  93. Isn’t it great when cooking blunders, miraculously, produce wonderful results anyway, as seems to have been the case here? Beans, dried and fresh, are often on the menu at my house, and I love the looks of this salad. Such a healthy and delicious combination of ingredients, textures, and flavors! BTW What variety of white beans did you use here?

  94. Kim says:

    How did I miss out on such a wonderful event called my legume love affair? I have to check that out. I can’t believe your beans cooked in 20 minutes. Good thing you didn’t start cleaning your room -LOL. Either way, this salad looks completely delicious. I’m all about beans whether they are blended into a dip, mashed, smashed, or whole. You can do no wrong when it comes to beans. Looks great to me!

  95. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Awww I’m sorry to hear about the mushy beans….it still looks tasty!

    I’m with you thought….beans that cook in 20 minutes?

  96. vanillasugar says:

    yes please. saw this bad boy on tastespotting and just had to say you go girl with you your fabulous photo & recipe!

  97. Better over-cooked than under, as far as dried beans are concerned. Great looking salad!

  98. Marisa says:

    I think it’d actually taste pretty good mushy! Am I weird?

  99. sweetlife says:

    mushy beans, oh I love them..great save


  100. I’m weird, but I actually like mushy things (oatmeal, beans, whatever) and will purposefully mash them up when I cook. This looks mighty tasty, Joanne :).

  101. grace says:

    bean mush. i like it. i like it a lot.

  102. Disappointing about the beans but this looks delicious!! I don’t like when they’re too hard anyway.

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