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Herbed White Bean Picnic Salad

A healthy salad for everyone - even those with special diets - that's perfect for potlucks, picnics, office parties, cookouts, and dinners with friends and family. Vegetarian, vegan option, gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free, this herbed white bean picnic salad with lemon dill miso dressing is light and refreshing.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 8
Calories 260 kcal
Author SoupAddict

Ingredients

For the lemon dill miso dressing

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill leaves
  • 1 teaspoon white miso (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon prepared Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the salad

  • 2 cans great northern beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 small red bell pepper diced
  • 1 fennel bulb (anise) chopped
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 1 small cucumber chopped
  • 1 small shallot finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced dill leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fennel leaves (if your bulb had its leaves, otherwise skip)
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • kosher salt
  • Goat cheese crumbled (optional)

Instructions

For the lemon dill miso dressing

  1. Place all ingredients in a tightly lidded jar and shake-shake-shake until well-blended. If you have time, leave the jar to sit on the counter for an hour to let the ingredients infuse and create a full-flavored dressing, or make the night before and store in the refrigerator. Shake well before using.

For the salad

  1. Add the beans and vegetables to a large bowl, and toss lightly to mix. Add the herbs and toss gently again. Sprinkle very lightly with salt (remember, the miso dressing is well-flavored - you won't need much salt). Before serving, drizzle the dressing over the salad, stirring to coat the beans and vegetables. You might not use all of the dressing at this point. Let the salad sit for 10 minutes to absorb the dressing's flavors. Then stir, and taste. Add more dressing, if desired.

Recipe Notes

- Note that evoo might solidify in the fridge. It's not at all harmful to the dressing, just let it come up to room temperature before using (or rest the jar in a bowl of very warm water from the tap until it liquifies, then whisk). You can also substitute a neutral oil, such as grapeseed.

- White miso is wonderfully mild and slightly sweet. Before purchasing, check the label for fish ingredients, if you want the salad to be vegetarian. Many misos are made with dashi or bonito (shrimp flakes). Seaweed vegetables are vegetarian. My favorite miso is made by an American company, South River Miso, located in Massachusetts.

- If your dressing seems grainy from the miso, run the dressing through a stick blender, a regular blender, or a bullet blender to smooth out.

- For a vegan option, use maple syrup (not honey), and omit the goat cheese.