The Mr. and I have decided to focus a bit more on the vegetables in our diet and cut back on the animal proteins. We aren’t full-blown vegetarians, and we certainly are not vegans. However, we do want to eat more vegetables than we have. I think spring is a great time to start eating more veggies. There are so many delicious veggies just beginning to appear in the stores. This Beans and Greens Spring Salad is an homage to early spring. Lots of green vegetables for a light, fresh weeknight dinner! A couple of things about this salad. Make sure you season with salt every step of the way. The secret to a great salad is seasoning each of your ingredients along the way. Do this, and you will notice a big difference in all your salads.

The Beans

The first step in the process is to prep your beans. I know its easy to get them in a can, and you can certainly do that. Personally, I prefer to cook my own. It’s easy, and if you work a few days ahead. Soak your beans in heavily salted water for 12-24 hours. White beans soak pretty quick so you can do this for less time than you would a black bean. Then in the same pot with the same water bring your beans to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cook until soft. I do think it is worth taking the time to make your beans. They aren’t hard to make yourself; it means you have to plan a tiny bit.

If you don’t want to make your beans, you can use a can of beans. They will taste EXACTLY the same. The only real benefit to making beans is that you avoid additives (which careful label-reading can also take care of). Well, that and a bag of white beans is $0.50 and it makes a TON more than you get in a can of beans. I used Great Northern Beans for this recipe because I love their creamy texture, but any white bean will do. These two reasons are enough for me, especially given how little effort it is to make them.

The Vinaigrette

I also recommend making your vinaigrette. Firstly, the vinaigrette is possibly the simplest thing you will ever make. Secondly, commercial dressings mostly have a ton of added chemicals and sugar. I try to avoid sugars like this; if I am going to eat sugar, I want it to be in ICE CREAM. (Have I mentioned my CoolHaus obsession?) Anyway, you can eyeball a dressing like this in a jam jar. The traditional proportion is 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 oil. I also add dijon for the extra flavor and to help with the emulsification. Add some salt and pepper, and you are good to go. Seriously, don’t buy commercial dressing. It is tastier and cheaper to make it yourself.

The Croutons

I recently discovered Central Market’s Savory Hazelnut bread. Ummmm…. I might be addicted. Holy cow, it’s so good. It is studded with hazelnut and little pieces of shredded carrots, sunflower seeds, and goodness knows what else. I don’t care. Its delicious. I know not everyone can get this bread, so if you are not in the DFW area with access to a Central Market try any nutty bread, you can find. I think Orowheat’s Health Nut Bread would be a great substitution, but any nutty bread that strikes your fancy will work.


Tim’s Picks!

A perfect match for our beans and greens dish, this juicy red may also go by the name of Napa Gamay by old time wine aficionados. You will find cherry and pepper notes, lush berry fruit, and a soft herbal palate. This offering does best with a slight chill, it is best to refrigerate about 20 minutes before serving.

I will earn a small commision on some of the products on this page if you purchase through my link. I have only recommended products I know and love. I have not recieved anything from these companies for free.

Beans and Greens Spring Salad

Beans and Greens Spring Salad

This light but fulling spring salad covers all the bases. Protien, tons of veggies and TONS of flavor.



  • 1 8 oz bag Great Norther White Beans
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 box Baby Arugula
  • 2 Spring Onions
  • Parmesean Cheese

Pan Fried Croutons

  • 3-6 slices Nutty Bread
  • 2 tbs Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt, Diamond Crystal
  • Black Pepper, Fresh ground tellicherry


  • 6 tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 tbs Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Kosher Salt, Diamon Crystal
  • Black Pepper, Fresh ground tellicherry

Roasted Carrots

  • 1 bunch Young Carrots (multi-color), with tops
  • 2 tsp Sumac
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Kosher Salt, Diamon Crystal
  • Black Pepper, Fresh ground tellicherry



  1. Soak your beans in heavily salted water for 12-18 hours. Taste your water to as you salt it. You want to to be very salty, like sea water. I like to use Diamond Crystal salt for this because I understand the quantities and it dissolves quickly. Any salt (other than table salt!) will work here, just make sure the water is not over or under salted.
  2. After your beans have finished soaking bring your beans to a boil in that same water and then reduce to a gentle simmer.
  3. Cook until beans are soft and creamy. The amount of time this takes depends on how old your beans are, the older they are the longer it will take. Most batches take between three and four hours. Start checking them at 2.5 hours.
  4. Once beans are done, turn off heat and allow beans to cool before storing


  1. Cut up your bread slices into the cubes. It really does not matter what size, whatever YOU like. I think small-ish ones are nice because they are about the same size as the rest of the ingredients in the salad, which makes for nice balanced bites as you eat.
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil and let it heat. Don't get things too hot here. You want the bread to toast not burn.
  3. Toss the bread cubes into the pan, season with salt and pepper and toss the bread cubes in the pan so they are evenly coated with oil.
  4. Allow the bread cubes to toast and then flip them over and around so they toast on all sides

Roasted Carrots

  1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel the carrots and cut the leafy green parts off the carrots leaving a bit of the stem.
  3. Line a sheet pan in foil. Then toss your carrots with olive oil, sumac, salt and pepper. You can do this right on the sheet pan. No need to dirty another dish!
  4. Put the carrots on the oven and roast until the carrots are soft and the tips are a bit charred.


  1. In a jam jar add all your ingredients and shake until well combined

Roasted Red Pepper

  1. Take a whole red pepper and place it directly onto the flame on your stove. Allow it to char to fully black and then turn until it is charred on all sides. Use your tongs for this, it will make it easier to maneuver your pepper so that its black all over.
  2. Put your pepper in a zip top bag and allow it to steam in there for 10-20 minutes
  3. Remove the pepper from the bag and peel off all the charred bits. Tear it open and remove the stem, seeds and white veins.

Assemble your Salad!

  1. About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve. Thinly slice your scallions, using both the white and green parts. Then place in a bowl of water and set aside
  2. Put your arugula into a salad bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set aside
  3. Cut your carrots into 1.5 inch pieces. I like to cut them at an angle because I think it looks prettier, but do whatever makes you happy! Set aside
  4. Cut your roasted pepper into 1-1.5 inch dice
  5. Add all the ingredients, half the salad dressing but not the croutons to the salad bowl and toss well so that the dressing is well incorporated into the salad and all the ingredients are well dressed. Taste. Add more dressing if needed, add more salt if needed, add more pepper if needed and toss again. Taste, adjust seasoning if needed. Repeat until the salad tastes good to you. Add the croutons and toss one last time. Top with big shavings of parmesan cheese!

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