Top | Salads: Beyond the Bowl

White Bean Salad with Fresh Mint and Sumac-Honey Vinaigrette

(recipe, Mindy Fox)

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This citrusy salad is one I like to make an hour or two or even a day ahead, which allows the flavors to further blend. If you do get a head start, bring the dish to room temperature before serving. The Middle Eastern spice sumac lends a pleasingly astringent taste and an added lemony flavor here. If you're new to using it, you'll find it's delicious in rice and vegetable dishes and great as a seasoning for grilled or roasted meats and fish. Pasta, grain, bean, and rice salads, as well as "sturdy-ingredient" salads, such as many slaws, fennel, and celery-root salads, keep well (refrigerated) for days and make great leftovers.


  1. ½ cup finely chopped red onion
  2. ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  3. ½ tsp. sea salt
  4. ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  5. 2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini or butter beans (or 3¼ cups cooked dried beans)
  6. ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  7. ¼ cup finely chopped mint
  8. 2 tsp. honey
  9. ½ tsp. sumac
  10. Cayenne pepper


  1. In a small bowl, stir together the onion, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Rinse and drain the beans, then transfer to a large bowl.
  3. In a small saucepan, gently heat the oil over low heat until it is warmed through. To the beans, add the lemon-juice mixture, then the warm oil. Then add the mint, honey, sumac, and a generous pinch of cayenne pepper. Gently toss together to combine.
  4. If you have time, let the salad stand at room temperature for an hour, or refrigerate, covered, overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.