Carrot, Dill & White Bean Salad

Warm, coin-shaped slices of pan-fried carrots, white beans, and herbs tossed with a tangy-sweet lemon shallot dressing. It tastes good the day you make it, even better the day after.

Carrot, Dill & White Bean Salad

I bought a single bunch of bushy-topped carrots the other day. At first glance it was a good looking cluster - bright orange in color with vibrant greens still attached. But it was on second glance that I noticed the tiny carrots nestled beside their larger brothers and sisters. Some of the smallest carrots were no thicker than a knitting needle, not much longer than my pinky finger. I snacked on those after a quick rinse. The bigger guys I put to work in this skillet-tossed, herb-flecked white bean salad.
Carrot, Dill & White Bean Salad Recipe

A Simple Skillet Bean Salad

This recipe isn't complicated. Warm, coin-shaped slices of golden, pan-fried carrots, white beans and chopped herbs are tossed with a tangy-sweet lemon shallot dressing. It tastes good the day you make it, even better the day after. And although it's certainly not as pretty, in my opinion, it might taste best on day three as the shallots infused the beans and the lemon mellowed.

Carrots and beans in a cast iron skillet

The Details

  • Carrots: When shopping for carrots, look for young carrots with their greens still attached. This is one way you can get a good sense of whether the bunch is fresh or not. Can you use standard grocery store carrots? Sure! Look for bunches with smaller carrots if possible. Or if those aren't available, trim your carrot coins into half moons.
  • Beans: On the bean front, I tend to cook the beans from scratch. I like a creamy, smallish white bean for this salad. Alubia beans,  Peruano beans, and cannellini beans have all worked great. And yes! You can use well-drained canned white beans if you want to throw this together on a whim.
  • Herbs: I starting making this bean salad with dill. I like how dill is always a bit unexpected, and it works beautifully to cut the creaminess of the white beans, while maintaining an ability to stand up to the shallots and lemon juice. Basil is a nice alternative if you're out of dill. Cilantro is great. I mean it's hard to go wrong with your herb component. Use what you have.

Baby carrots and white beans

Make a Meal of It

This recipe has now been in our repertoire for a few years. One of my favorite things to do is make a double batch. It can hang out in the refrigerator for a couple days, no problem, and makes a great side to many meals. That said, I often turn it into a favorite dinner. Tossing the bean salad with any short pasta like penne, radiatore, or rigatoni and a bit of goat cheese is fantastic. To get a bolt of green into in the mix I often add broccoli florets, or asparagus segments to the pasta water at the last minute. Re-season with salt and lemon juice if needed.

Carrot, Dill & White Bean Salad in a Pink Bowl border=

Variations

There are so many different ways to re-mix this bean salad. Once you have the base of skillet beans and carrots, playing around with the dressing can take it in dramatically different directions. For example, you can skip the lemony-shallot dressing and use a thinned out pesto instead. The crushed walnut sauce I use here is another option.  I've also done a roasted red pepper puree thinned out with olive oil and boosted with cayenne for another twist.

Rachel D. mentioned in the comments, "...I added fava beans that I found at the UN Plaza farmers market (I thought fava season was over but I guess not!) and some preserved lemon. Also added less than the 2 tb sugar and it was sweet enough." Love this idea.

Carrot, Dill & White Bean Salad on a Table with Two Glasses

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Carrot, Dill & White Bean Salad Recipe

4.75 from 8 votes

I like to buy young carrots at the farmers' market - slice them slightly thicker than a banana chip for this salad. And if you don't have dill, use whatever favorite herbs you have - basil, cilantro, lemon verbena, chives, and marjoram all work great. 

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • more olive oil (or ghee) for cooking
  • 2 cups sliced carrots, cut 1/4-inch thick on deep bias
  • 3 cups cooked white beans
  • scant 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (or basil)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or honey)
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Instructions
  1. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and shallots in a small bowl. Stir and set aside.
  2. In your largest skillet over medium high heat, toss the carrots with a splash of olive oil or a spoonful of ghee (I love ghee with carrots). Let them 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. Add the 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 olive oil to the pan - do so.
  4. Place the contents of the skillet in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with the brown sugar and pour the 3/4 of the lemon-olive oil mixture over the top. Toss gently. Let sit for ten minutes. Toss gently once again, taste and adjust with more salt or sugar or lemon juice if needed to balance the flavors. 

  5. Serve warm or at room temperature and finish by sprinkling with the almonds just before serving. If you have any herb flowers add them now too.

Notes

Serves 6 as a side.

Serves
6
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

Always enjoy the way you integrate white beans. Thanks for the repeat inspiration, Heidi.

Tom Marsh

I'm planning to make this tonight, as I got a bunch of carrots in my CSA box yesterday. I got fennel, too, so I'm considering replacing the dill with it. (or might go with some thyme or tarragon from the garden...hmm....) My daughter eats only white beans, and likes her carrots cooked, so this is perfect! BTW, definitely get those carrot tops cut off right when you get home, BUT don't toss 'em! Pull the feathery leaves off the tougher stems and throw them into a salad or smoothie. Very Very healthy. And what's left goes into the compost, of course!

Stephanie

Your compost bin is a great place for the carrot tops - they can help grow next year's carrots! :-)

Anne

I actually made this last night! Delicious. I get your email posts and file the recipes, in the hopes of making them, but yesterday, this one popped into my email... and we had carrots, dill and white beans handy at home. We made this as a side to an herb-laden garlic shrimp and the two were great together. Thanks!

robin

This looks simply delicious...perfect for a side dish that you don't want to fuss with when you're busy getting everything else together. You could fix it and forget about it until time comes to serve it. And the carrots and dill? Yum!

Alta

Saw this today and realized it'd be an AMAZING way to use up the carrot bunch I bought earlier this week at the farmers market-- figured I had white beans in the pantry at home (as I usually do). I was excited-- I got home and checked the pantry. No dice. But I did have hella cans of garbanzo beans, so I switched it up-- DELISH! I can't wait to try it with white beans! Thanks so much! Between this and your simple cauliflower recipe, I'm pretty set! Thanks!

Ashley

This looks so simple and tasty... what a great combination of flavors!

emiglia

looks sublime....going to try it with some 'Purple Haze' carrots that are ready to harvest out in the garden - their orange/purple color should be dazzling and pick up the bit of purple from the shallots!

Peggy

Butter + carrots + thyme is one of my all time favorite combinations. I think thyme instead of dill in this salad (and maybe cider vinegar instead of lemon juice) could take it in a wonderful fall/winter direction. It is obviously too hot here in Texas... I'm dreaming about winter already! HS: Love the cider vinegar idea Amy.

Amy

I love it when food tastes even better the second day. This looks fresh and delicious. Perfect for a summer meal.

Cookin' Canuck

This is lovely! I made it tonight for dinner. I love simple meals like this. The toasted almonds add a nice crunch and the flavors all meld so well. I love bean and nut combos. This is a new favorite. An old favorite is the "Black Eyed Peas, Corn, and Toasted Walnuts with Spicy/Sweet Vinagrette" from the Vegan Gourmet. I can't wait to see how much tastier it will be for my lunch tomorrow!

daciarose

White alubia beans, my, where do you find those? Does the picture show the white alubia beans or just the ordinary cooked white beans mentioned in the recipe (could I use cannellini, or would they be too large)? Again, where did you find dry white alubia beans (or were they fresh)? HS: I used dried alubias from Rancho Gordo - you could certainly try a version with another type of white bean - it might have a different personality, but will likely still be tasty.

RiverWhispers

This is my first visit to your site and I'm so impressed--it's absolutely lovely! I'm really looking forward to trying this recipe. It sounds delicious, healthy and quite inexpensive to prepare. I'll be checking back often for more recipes! Thanks!

StudioKitchen

Hadn't thought of pan-roasting my baby carrots! It sounds delicious. Now I have a job for the dill I've been growing!

Christine

I've been loving cooked/ roasted carrots in salads lately. The dill-carrot combo sounds wonderful with the beans. Can't wait to try it!

Emily

That looks yummy I think I will make it as I'am having problems digesting anything wheat or greens and I need to expand my recipe base.

libby532

Caramelized carrots with white beans? I'm intrigued, I would've never paired these two, but looking forward to trying this. The dill makes it sound really refreshing. Thanks!

Niki @ Spilled Ingredients

Looks delicious and sounds equally mouthwatering. I'm heading to my local organic market right now and looking forward to making this for dinner tonight! Another home run, Heidi! Thank you!

Kylie@FunInVegas

yum, this looks great. can't wait to try it out. thanks for the recipe.

christy

I too love buying fresh carrots from the farmers market with the greens on top. This salad is beautiful and I can just imagine how all the flavors come together. I think I might make it for a bbq this weekend. Yum, thanks for the recipe!

Alison

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