If you are looking for a colorful dish to lift your spirits during the cold of winter, this warm salad is just the thing to warm you up. During the winter, individuals often find comfort in eating calorie-dense food. This warm braised bean salad not only tastes delicious, but is also good for you. You can also find comfort in the fact that it won’t increase the size of your waist! This dish can be enjoyed as a nice weekend meal, throughout the week, or packed for a nutritious lunch that is full of flavor.
I would like to thank Jeremy Paige from HuffPost Life for this delicious creation. I think you will enjoy the balance of the sweetness of the vegetables, the denseness of the beans that are all brought together with the acidity of the vinaigrette. In order to fit your taste, you may also use any variety of seasonal vegetables.
1 Pound Dried Cannellini Beans
1 Bay Leaf
2 Large Carrots, Peeled and Diced
1 Red Onion, Peeled and Sliced into 1/2-Inch Half-Moons
1 Large Sweet Potato, Peeled and Diced
1 Delicata Squash, Halved, Seeded and Sliced into 1/2-Inch Pieces
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
1 Tablespoon Sumac
3 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach
Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Olive Oil, Plus 1 Tablespoon for Skillet
2 Tablespoons Chopped Parsley
2 Tablespoons Chives
Preparing the Beans
Rinse the beans under cold water to remove any dirt and debris. Transfer to a large bowl and cover with at least two inches of water. Soak the beans for at least six hours, but you can soak them overnight for best results. I always soak beans overnight and I have found this works great for me. Next, drain and rinse the beans and transfer them to a large soup pot. Cover with at least two inches of water and add one tablespoon of salt and a bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Make sure to stir occasionally. Continue to cook for forty-five minutes to an hour, until beans are tender. Drain and set aside.
Preparing the Vegetables
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Next, in a bowl, toss the vegetables together with olive oil, sumac and two teaspoons of salt. I didn’t have delicata squash and sumac on hand, so instead, I used butternut squash and allspice for this step and it worked out really well. I think the allspice brought out the natural sweetness of the vegetables. To finish up this step, transfer the contents of the bowl to the prepared baking sheets and bake for twenty-five to thirty minutes, turning once, until tender and browned.
For the Vinaigrette
In a small bowl, whisk the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and salt together. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until it’s emulsified, then stir in fresh herbs. Set aside.
Cook the Spinach
In a medium skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the spinach and season with salt. Cook until wilted. This should take about two minutes.
Combining the Ingredients
In a large bowl, toss the cooked beans, roasted vegetables, cooked spinach, and vinaigrette together. Season with more salt if you like and you are ready to enjoy.