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Light & Fresh: Grilled Spring Vegetable & White Bean Salad

May 24, 2011

This is one of those recipes that’s hard to share. Not because it’s too good and I’m too greedy to give you the recipe, but because it is the result of adding a dash of this, a spoonful of that, and whatever veggies I had in the fridge at the time. Luckily, I have a rather keen visual memory, so this should be pretty darn close to what I came up with the other night. Besides, I’m really teaching you an important lesson: taste your food! Then adjust the seasonings to your liking. That’s how I came up with this, after all!

I spent no less than 3 hours yesterday purchasing groceries. First, it was a happened-upon produce stand where I picked up these zucchini and asparagus (along with strawberries, onions, butternut squash, scallions and lemons). Then I went off to PCC (our local natural foods market) where I had way too much fun poking through the shelves and finding new edible treasures. And then, I went to good ol’ QFC to pick up some much-needed, less-expensive basics like canned beans, couscous and spices. I won’t even tell you how much money I spent.

From all this bounty I put together one of the most delicious meals I’ve made in awhile. It was a celebration of spring, of the sun that was shining brightly. I pulled out my often-neglected cast iron grill pan and cooked my entire meal: sweet white corn on the cob, an Applegate Farm’s organic turkey hot dog, toasted pita, and some asparagus and zucchini to toss into a light and refreshing white bean salad.

Make this on a hot, sunny day. It would be perfect picnic fare. Bring the salad, grill the veggies on site outdoors, toss together and devour. As with any cold salad of this type, it only gets better the longer the flavors meld and mingle together. Make a big batch and eat it for lunch the next few days. If you can make it last that long.

Grilled Spring Vegetable and White Bean Salad

© Copyright 2011 Carly Sullivan, Tart to Heart

Serves: 3-4 as a side dish


  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp stone ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp scallions, sliced fine
  • 1 tsp fresh mint, minced fine
  • 1/2 tsp eachfresh rosemary, tarragon, oregano, and thyme (or whatever herbs you have on hand), minced fine
  • Drizzle of honey (about 1/2 tsp)
  • 2 oz feta, chopped or crumbled
  • 1 15-oz can cannellini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 small/medium zucchini, sliced


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients (oil through honey). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Add the feta and beans and toss gently to coat. Cover and place in the refrigerator while you grill the vegetables.
  3. Heat your grill or indoor grill pan to medium heat. Brush the asparagus and zucchini with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on both sides until tender (about 10 minutes). If you don’t have a grill or grill pan, roast the vegetables on a sheet tray until tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces and cut the zucchini slices in half. Remove the salad from the refrigerator, add the vegetables and toss to combine. Check the seasoning again and adjust as needed.
  5. Serve immediately or keep covered in the refrigerator for several days. Enjoy outside with a cold beverage and sunglasses! Bare feet are strongly encouraged.
15 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2011 7:02 pm

    Oh yes. This looks incredible. I love the little bit of zucchini. Can’t wait to make it. My husband will love it too.

  2. scholasticfood permalink
    May 24, 2011 7:27 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious! Do you have any suggestions for replacing the zucchini? I’m not a huge zucchini fan, but I love the idea of pairing the beans with asparagus and feta.

    • May 24, 2011 7:59 pm

      You could simply omit the zucchini and add extra asparagus, or artichoke hearts would be fabulous 🙂

  3. May 24, 2011 11:57 pm

    What a delightful Spring-y dish! You can practically taste the goodness coming out of the screen!

  4. May 25, 2011 10:05 pm

    I love those kinds of dishes, where you just start throwing things in and tasting every once in while. For me, they tend to turn out better than when I try to follow a recipe!

  5. May 27, 2011 11:41 am

    Sounds like the perfect light and healthy side dish for summer! Not a thing in this recipe I don’t like. Particularly love the addition of feta cheese. I have a few recipes like this where I wouldn’t be able to share since I’m always adding ingredients here and there–sometimes I remember to jot down notes though. 🙂

  6. May 28, 2011 2:22 pm

    So many of my recipes are like that too, a little of this…. I love how spring-like this is. I also love Cannellini beans! Great recipe.

  7. May 30, 2011 2:45 pm

    Mmm, intriguing. I’m not sure I’ve ever had anything like this. It looks delicious! (I’m hungry now.)

  8. Faux Stepford Wife permalink
    June 14, 2011 4:50 pm

    I love your blog!!! So many fun goodies to try. 🙂

  9. ericascime permalink
    June 15, 2011 10:15 am

    Oh my god, this looks incredible! A lot of my favorite ingredients are in this and it has lots of protein!

  10. June 16, 2011 6:51 pm

    Now I’m determined to find local asparagus again. Your white bean and asparagus salad trumps my asparagus and potato salad!

    Hmm, it’s a little late in the season here though…

    • August 4, 2011 5:17 am

      You could substitute yellow and green beans for the asparagus in the midsummer. Then corn later on…it looks like a very versatile recipe!

  11. akatwentyeight permalink
    July 15, 2011 9:40 am

    huge fan of all the ingredients and have been looking for some new creative recipes.. starting to feel like i cook the same 10 things!

    thanks so much for sharing!

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