carrot, white bean and coriander salad recipe

So, as promised, here's a little bit of savoury goodness (amongst all the sweet!) to get you through the weekend. I came across this recipe in the New Zealand Vegetable cookbook. Some of the biggest names in NZ food writing; Lorraine Jacobs, Ginny Grant and Kathy Paterson, have teamed up to produce this gorgeous seasonal cookbook that is fast becoming my go-to vegetable cookbook.

Written along the same lines as the infamous River Cafe Cook Book Green (which gets a mention in the bibliography) it is divided into four seasonal sections, each one dedicated to produce available at that time of year. And being the New Zealand vegetable cookbook it obviously uses vegetables that are abundant and available to us at the right time of the year! Yay! This was the one downfall that I found when reading the River Cafe Cook Book Green, that not many of the vegetables were available down under!

The rich, moody photography, by one of my favourite food photographers Aaron McLean, elevates this already lovely cookbook to something else altogether. My only qualm is that I wish more of the recipes were accompanied by a photo....but I'll get over it!

Their original recipe for this salad uses tinned Italian white beans, but I had some dried cannellini beans in the cupboard that needed using up before we move to Perth, so I went for them instead.
The flavours here are amazing, the perfect mix of spicy coriander (cilantro), fresh garlic from the garden, fragrant cumin and zesty lime. I didn’t add it at the time, but I feel a little pinch of chilli flakes would make this dish even more special (to be honest, I try to add chilli to everything). This recipe is perfect for taking to a pot-luck or for making ahead of time, as it really does improve on sitting. I even ate the leftovers, straight from the fridge, with just a little extra lime juice squeezed over to freshen things up.

On a completely different note, our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected in Far North Queensland, who have just been struck by cyclone Yasi. Australia has taken a serious hammering from Mother Nature lately, and I just hope there's been no loss of life this time round. -emm

carrot, white bean and coriander salad recipe
I used dried cannellini beans because that's what I had at hand. If you prefer to use tinned like the original recipe. Simply use 2x 400g cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well. To toast the cumin seeds, gently heat in a pan over medium heat, stirring until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. This recipe will test your knife skills, as you are after thin, uniform matchsticks. Use a mandolin if you have one, or even thin strips made using a speed peeler would work great. Serves 4 as a side or 2-3 as a main.

  • 1 cup (180g) dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in plenty of water
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground
  • the zest and juice of 1 lime, plus extra for squeezing
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons of vegetable/olive oil
  • 6 medium carrots (500g), peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • small handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves

 Drain the soaking water off the beans. Cover with fresh water and cook over medium heat for 40-50 minutes or until soft, but not falling apart.

While the beans are cooking get your dressing sorted; crush the garlic and salt together either in a mortar and pestle or using the side of your knife to form a paste. Combine this garlic paste with the cumin, lime zest and juice and extra virgin olive oil.

Once the beans are cooked, drain and set aside briefly while you cook the carrots. Heat a frying pan over high heat then add the 1-2 teaspoons of vegetable oil, toss in the carrot sticks and cook over high heat, letting some char around the edges, until they start to soften a little.  Immediately combine the hot bean and carrots with the dressing and set aside for an hour to marinate if you have the time. By adding the beans and carrots hot, they will soak up all that wonderful dressing. I served this at room temperature, but if you prefer re-heat over medium heat in a pan. Toss in a small handful of roughly torn coriander (cilantro) leaves and serve.

This recipe has been linked to: Gluten-free Wednesdays @ The Gluten-free homemaker

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  • Reply
    February 3, 2011 at 1:21 am

    This sounds delicious….

  • Reply
    February 3, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Looks delicious! I would definitely put some chili in too, so good with the lime and coriander.
    Do you just soak your beans overnight or do you boil them first? Mine always seem to stay crunchy when I soak them

  • Reply
    famous mystery chef
    February 3, 2011 at 2:56 am

    yum yum, bummed I missed out on that when I was around last…

  • Reply
    Anahera Moon
    February 3, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Beautiful Em! You are such a star! I cant wait to make this for school lunches 🙂 Hey I met Anna the other night at Laneway and we were singing your praises! What a beautiful girl she is! Would love to see u before you leave the country, might have to get down there for a good ol' raglan catch up with you and Graceful! I miss u girls so much! xoxoxox

  • Reply
    February 3, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Anna, I just soak mine. You have to make sure the beans your buying are fresh though (buy from a store with a high turn over), and make sure they are not heat treated. My mums trick to cooking beans, which may help you, is to boil them hard for 5 minutes then leave them in that water for an hour or so, drain and re-fill with fresh water, before cooking fully. Might be worth a try?

    Mel, That's cool you met Anna, she is a super special girl. Would love to see you before we leave, may have to book in soon though! Our weekends are filling up quickly! Xx

    Hi Famous mystery chef (aka, Louie!) Hehe

  • Reply
    The Good Soup
    February 7, 2011 at 12:22 am

    It's great and sort of embarrassing for me to hear some names of well known New Zealand food writers, because I've never heard of them! This is not an inditement on New Zealand, just on my lack of knowledge… I will search out this book, definitely. The salad sounds lovely. I always find myself adding cumin to carrot dishes, I wonder what that's about? Thanks for the post!

  • Reply
    February 7, 2011 at 8:48 am

    No worries, I'd be pretty impressed if you knew any NZ food writers. This book is amazing, so is the Treasury of New Zealand baking, compiled by Lorraine Jacobs. Such beautifully presented books. Just wish NZ publishers would get them onto Amazon so the rest of the world could see them too!

  • Reply
    July 6, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing it at Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Kia Ora! I have tried a few of your salad recipes lately and haven't been disappointed. They've been delicious!

    Tonight I made this salad and finished it off with toasted seeds and a few dried cranberries.

    We are living in PNG at the moment after having 3 years in Perth. I miss NZ so much and it's just awesome to stumble upon your Kiwi blog! You're certainly doing a great job at inspiring creativity.

    All the very best,

    A fellow Kiwi

    • Reply
      April 29, 2014 at 6:21 am

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment! Stoked your loving all my salad recipes 🙂
      xx Emm

  • Reply
    Rajesh Kumar
    May 14, 2015 at 11:16 am

    .You have made this perfectly..Will surely give it a try..Thanks a lot for this recipe. it tastes yummy too!
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  • Reply
    May 23, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    Tried this last night – awesome. You are right about the chilli flakes! I added some sliced zucchini to the carrots too which worked well. This will become a favourite – thx for sharing

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