Using white beans as a base, this salad combines a luscious lemon-bright dressing tinted with smoky pimenton de la vera, kale’s deep green leaves, and the juiciness of roasted zucchini. While you can use any bean with this recipe, the delicate great white northern beans readily absorb the dressing’s sublime flavor. This salad can stand on its own as a meat-less meal. Great northern beans have high levels of iron, protein, fiber, and potassium, which make them a healthy and robust replacement for animal-based proteins (Kerns).
Perhaps it’s not necessary to sing the health benefits of kale, which has now become the hot superfood that appears sprinkled into everything from smoothies to popcorn. Although the beans, dressing, and zucchini alone heath-wise make the salad worth your effort, the raw kale contains phytochemicals such a lutein and zeaxanthin, a ridiculous amount of vitamin K, and significant amounts of vitamins A and C (Bruso).
3 tablespoons minced shallot
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
(let macerate for 20 minutes)
2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon organic mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon pimenton de la vera
½ olive oil
salt, to taste
1.5 cups zucchini, medium diced
two dashes of pimenton de la vera
salt, to taste
4 cups of great white northern beans
2 cups finely chopped kale leaves (or baby kale), use cavolo nero or black Tuscan kale
1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Dice the zucchini and toss it in olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, and a pinch of pimenton de la vera.
3. Cook the zucchini for 10-12 minutes in a 400 degree oven (until just done, still firm).
4. While the zucchini cooks, place the minced shallot, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a generous pinch of salt in a stainless steel mixing bowl. Stir and let sit for 20 minutes.
5. As the zucchini cools, wash and finely chop the kale and dill. Set aside.
6. Place the mustard and mayo in the shallot-lemon mixture, and stir together until the mixture is smooth. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil as you briskly whisk the dressing. (By “slow,” I mean make sure the oil is emulsified before adding any more.) Add the ¼ tsp. pimenton de la vera and ¼ tsp. salt (and to taste), and whisk in until evenly distributed.
7. Place the beans, kale, dill, zucchini, and lemon-shallot dressing in a large bowl, mix together, season to taste with more salt, if necessary, and place in the refrigerator. Let the flavors blend for 30 minutes, taste again to ensure everything is properly seasoned, and serve.
Bruso, Jessica. "How Nutritious Is Raw Kale." Healthy Eating. SF Gate, n.d. Web. 22 July 2015.
Kerns, Michelle. "What Are the Health Benefits of Great Northern Beans?" Healthy Eating. SF Gate, n.d. Web. 22 July 2015.