Time for another great summer salad!
This salad is inspired by the flavours of the middle east, using herb/spice blend Za’atar as the main seasoning. White navy beans offer a fantastic base, with a mild and almost creamy flavour that balances with the earthy thyme in the Za’atar.
I was lucky enough to have a few different kinds of legume to choose from, having cooked up various dried beans earlier in the summer. I haven’t made too many dishes with the white navy beans before, so I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to play with a slightly different flavour and texture. To be honest, most of my bean salads are comprised of chick peas and black turtle beans.
Bean salads are a great way to use up some of the vegetables you have lying around. In this case, I had some leftover BBQ’d corn kernels and halves of a couple of different bell peppers. Some leftover grilled eggplant or zucchini would be amazing in this (mental note for next time)!
The spices I used in this dish may seem a little exotic to some people… The three most important elements are the thyme, the chives and the white beans. The thyme is earthy and fragrant, while the chives are spicy and fresh. They are lovely when combined with the white bean. Those three ingredients are the heart of the dish, and the other veggies and seasonings are meant to highlight and support those flavours. You can easily substitute – or even eliminate – most of the others, while still keeping the spirit of the dish.
Za’atar White Bean Salad
- 1 1/2 cups white navy beans, cooked
- 1 cup corn kernels, cooked
- 1 bell pepper, chopped (I used mostly red and orange)
- 1/2 cup – 1 cup chives, chopped (I used 1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons, olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons za’atar (or, mix 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds and 1/2 tablespoon sumac)
- 1 teaspoon aleppo pepper (can substitute chili flakes, cayenne or whatever chili pepper you prefer!)
- 1 teaspoon isot pepper (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sumac (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large bowl, add the beans, corn, chives, thyme and bell pepper.
- Coat well with the lemon juice and olive oil.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the za’atar, aleppo pepper, isot pepper, sumac, salt and pepper. Mix into the salad.
- Top with some additional za’atar, aleppo pepper and isot pepper, to taste.