Thank you for all your suggestions on how you bookmark your recipes on my last post. For some reason, Google Reader doesn’t always search every post, so sometimes I resort to searching through the archives of my favourite blogs.
We all know the heavy hitters in the food blogging circles. We could argue about our top 3 blogs, but I enjoy Heidi’s blog at 101 Cookbooks and have had success with many of her creations. Even after 3 cookbooks to her name, she continues to post recipes that feature fresh and natural ingredients. One of the benefits of having a blog, instead of her cookbooks, is that it is quickly and easily searchable. When I wanted to know what to do with some leftover dill, I looked through her archives for inspiration.
I eventually settled on this seemingly simple white bean and carrot salad. It is simple to make but the flavours work really well together. This is definitely where food synergy is at play. I added my own spins to the dish, adding more carrots, using less oil and no sugar. Instead, I opted to caramelize the shallots and carrots to capitalize on their natural sweetness. Slivered almonds confer a satisfying crunch.
I 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 of the salad. If you can’t find flageolets, any white bean could work like great Northern or pinto (Heidi used alubias, a kind of pinto bean). In a pinch, tinned beans could work as well but they don’t brown up as well as home-cooked beans (be mindful that they don’t turn to mush).
This salad tastes great fresh from the stovetop but also works wonderfully after a few days when the flavours have melded together even longer.
Warm Carrot and Flageolet Bean Salad with Dill
3 cups cooked white beans OR
1 cup dried flageolet beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
2.5 cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
handful of the stems from the dill (tie together with string if possible)
1.5 tbsp coconut oil, divided
2.5 cups (315g) sliced carrots, cut 1/4-inch thick on a diagonal
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (4 small shallots) (65g)
scant 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1. Drain soaked beans and rinse well. Combine rinsed flageolet beans, broth, bay leaves, and dill stems 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 dill stems. Drain beans and set aside to cool. (Save that liquid you just drained, it would be a fabulous vegetable broth).
2. In your largest skillet over medium high heat, heat 1 tbsp coconut oil. Add carrots and cook in a single layer – they’ll give off a bit of water at first. Keep cooking, tossing gently every three or four minutes until the carrots are deeply browned. All told, about twelve minutes.
3. Push carrots to the side, add a bit more coconut oil, then add shallots and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Then add beans and dill to the skillet and cook for another five minutes, or until the beans as well heated through. If you are using beans that weren’t canned you can allow them to brown a bit as well (just cook a bit longer, and stir less frequently) – they can handle this in a way that most canned beans can’t. If you need to add a bit more oil to the pan – do so. Remove from heat.
4. Mix lemon juice with salt, then toss with the salad. Taste and adjust as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature and finish by sprinkling with the almonds just before serving.