the taste space

Warm Leek and Flageolet Bean Salad with a Mustard Dressing

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads, Sides by Janet M on July 3, 2011

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekends, be it celebrating July 1 or July 4.

I was telling my Mom about my low-key Canada Day plans….

Well, first we went grocery shopping…

WHAT?!, she exclaimed. All the grocery stores are closed here.

True, the big chain grocery stores were closed on Friday, but that didn’t stop Sunny’s (or Bestwin or even T&T) from being open. Sunny’s, my current favourite grocery store, is located in Flemingdon Park, the Toronto neighbourhood with the highest percentage of immigrants (67% of its residents, with 23% recent immigrants). Sunny’s advertises over 10 languages its staff can speak, and it truly offers a multicultural grocery experience. Due to its local clientele, the prices are great and the produce is fresh. And it was open on Canada Day. Hourray for me!

BBQs are in full swing now at our place, even though we are still living out of boxes. Rob has chosen to take full advantage of the barbecue, grilling up various kinds of meats for guests, whereas I typically reign in the salad department. I have revisited some of my old favourites, and of course, tried out a few new ones that will be shared shortly, including this lovely warm leek and white bean salad.

White beans are combined with caramelized leeks and smothered in a light mustard sauce. I was mostly inspired by the recipe from Waitrose since I adapted it quite a bit. I increased the amount of leeks, used dill instead of parsley, added in lemon pepper and simplified their mustard dressing. I like how creamy dressing can get with mustard alone!

You can bring your bean salad to the next level by cooking up your own beans with complementary flavours. Here, I opted to cook my own flageolet beans in vegetable broth and rosemary for additional flavour. Cook up more beans than you need, freeze the extra with the stock and you can whip up another tasty white bean salad in a heart beat. Tinned beans would work too, if you haven’t yet converted to cooking your own beans (I had a hard time locating dried flageolet beans in Toronto, let alone canned flageolets, though!).

While you could use any white bean (cannellini/white kidney, Great Northern, or even something smaller like navy or black eyed pea, etc), after delving into my heirloom bean collection, I have realized wonderful novelty beans can be! The first bean I tried was the green flageolet. I found it locally at Rube’s Rice in the St Lawrence Market, so thankfully I can easily replenish my pantry (instead of outsourcing my supply from the US!). Flageolets are smaller white beans, but deliciously smooth and creamy. They are commonly used in the French cassoulet, but here, they make this salad shine.  I look forward to trying other ways of using these delicious beans over the summer.


This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Susan and to this month’s Simple and in Season.

Warm Leek and Flageolet Bean Salad with a Mustard Dressing

1 cup dried flageolet beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
2.5 cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary
5 tbsp olive oil, divided
3 leeks, cleaned, trimmed and white and light green parts thinly sliced (515g prepped leek)
1/8 tsp sea salt
20g fresh dill, chopped (around 3 tbsp)
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp cider vinegar

1. Drain soaked beans and rinse well. Combine rinsed flageolet beans, broth, bay leaves, and rosemary in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender, this was around 80 minutes for me, but start checking after an hour. Once at their desired consistency, remove bay leaves and rosemary. Drain beans and set aside to cool. (Save that liquid you just drained, it would be a fabulous vegetable broth).

2. Once the beans are cooling, heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large frypan over medium heat.  Add the leeks and salt. As soon as the leeks begin to soften, turn down the heat fairly low and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until they are soft (don’t let them take on any colour).

3.  Add the beans and toss together until heated through. Take off the heat; stir in the dill and lemon pepper. Season to taste.

4. For the dressing, whisk together the mustard, vinegar and remaining 3 tbsp oil and season well. Stir into the pan of warm leeks and beans, just prior to serving (I found the dressing was soaked up a lot when eaten as leftovers, and I preferred it freshly dressed).

Serves 6.

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20 Responses

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  1. Tonya - What's On My Plate said, on July 3, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    That dish looks AMAZING. Seriously. Also, I love how you gave a shoutout to BestWin. I LOVE that store. I was there last summer and was amazed that they had 16+ varieties of mangoes

    • Saveur said, on July 3, 2011 at 3:29 PM

      Hey Tonya, Yeah I used to love Bestwin as well but their produce can be a bit hit or miss. I prefer Sunny’s now, not too much further than Bestwin but the produce is much fresher and the prices just as good…. AND complete with multiple mango varieties. :)

  2. Joanne said, on July 3, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Your barbecues sounds like my barbecues! My family eats meat off the grill while I am perfectly happy munching on salads like this! The leeks here must give such a nice buttery flavor to the dish and I love the sound of that mustard dressing!

  3. Carol said, on July 3, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    Happy Canada Day! Delicious bean salad! I would love this, such great flavor in the dressing!

  4. DebinHawaii said, on July 3, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    I love anything beans and this looks perfect with the leeks and that mustard dressing. Yum! Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week. ;-) Happy Canada Day.

  5. rszumlak said, on July 3, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    Hey, it’s not just meat that I’ve grilled. Now I’ve grilled pineapple and asparagus!

  6. Priya Sreeram said, on July 4, 2011 at 2:28 AM

    this is such a lovely salad recipe- looks yum !

  7. Priya said, on July 4, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    Simply filling and nutritious salad..

  8. Caitlin said, on July 4, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    how do you do it? i’ve never heard of flageolet beans before, but this salad just looks so FREAKIN good!

  9. foodblogandthedog said, on July 6, 2011 at 8:02 AM

    I love the sound of this as a light summer dinner. Definitely on my list for this week, can’t wait!!

  10. Susan said, on July 8, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    It may be warm, but it hits the spot for summer eating. A very lovely salad and a great addition to July’s MLLA collection of recipes. Thanks, Janet, for joining in.

  11. Ashley said, on July 31, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    This looks really good and then I saw that it has mustard and was hooked. This sounds like such a yummy and flavourful bean salad. I don’t know that I’ve seen flageolet beans anywhere though I’m sure I could find them if I went looking.

    • Saveur said, on August 2, 2011 at 11:45 AM

      Flageolet beans are totally worth seeking out, Ashley. So much better than any other bean I’ve tried.. and I love beans. :)

  12. Fabulicious Food! (@RenBehan) said, on August 8, 2011 at 6:37 AM

    This looks sooooo good! Thank you so much for entering it into Simple and in Season. Round Up to follow later.

  13. Diana said, on August 10, 2011 at 8:45 AM

    Yes! I have indeed seen the Flageolets in French casserole dishes! A great idea to use them to make the salad shine! The pictures make this dish look delicious!

  14. [...] also getting to know Taste Space from Toronto thorough this event. This month we had a really unique recipe for Warm Leek and [...]

  15. [...] froze extra flageolet beans from my last flageolet bean salad, so this was easy to whip together. The broth-infused creamy white beans were the definitive star [...]

  16. mrs leny said, on September 24, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    Good to know they are available at Rube’s in SLM. I’ve only had tinned ones which my in-laws brought back from France. I devoured them straight from the tin!

  17. [...] It ain’t no Sunny’s though. Sunny’s has bountiful fresh produce at low prices. Even some of the discounted produce is great quality. Welcome, however, is like a transplanted Chinatown grocer. Some great prices but the quality is not always the best. I never know what I will find on their shelves. Sometimes it can be 4 bunches of leeks for $1, or 2 HUGE bunches of Swiss for $1, or 10 limes for $1 (this one seems to be a perpetual sale), sometimes advertised, other times not, especially if the produce is priced to sell pronto (if you know what I mean). Then I’ll come back a few weeks later to discover they have no Swiss chard, or kale or collards at all. The produce is random. Kind of. [...]

  18. [...] beans and I held onto the last of my batch until this salad. I also recommend using them in this warm bean salad with leeks in a mustard dressing as well as this warm bean and carrot salad with dill. With less time in the kitchen, I may try [...]


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