white bean and carrot salad with ricotta, parsley, and sumac

This bright and flavorful dish can be served as a side dish or as a hearty vegetarian entree. It features two kinds of white beans, including kidney beans and gigantes beans. Gigantes means "giant" in Greek; this larger bean varietal is a classic ingredient in Greek cooking. Note that these beans, if purchased dried, need to soak overnight, so plan accordingly. If you cannot find gigantes beans, you can substitute with Great Northern beans. The rich and hearty beans are balanced by shavings of raw carrot, fresh parsley, and lemon zest. I would recommend serving with a bright Sauvignon Blanc.


  • White kidney beans (1 15-ounce can)

  • Gigantes beans (1 cup, cooked; or substitute with Great Northern beans)

  • Carrots (2 very large carrots, sliced with a mandoline into 1/8-inch slices)

  • Shallot (1 small, thinly sliced)

  • Fresh parsley (1/2 cup, roughly chopped)

  • Baby spinach (2 cups)

  • Lemon zest (1 teaspoon)

  • Lemon juice (2 teaspoons)

  • Olive oil (2 tablespoons)

  • Ground black pepper (1/2 teaspoon)

  • Sea salt (1 and 1/2 teaspoons)

  • Sumac (2 teaspoons)

  • Fresh ricotta (1/2 cup)


  1. Drain the kidney beans and gigantes beans in a colander. Rinse with water. Transfer the rinsed beans to a large mixing bowl.

  2. Add the shaved carrots, shallot, fresh parsley, spinach, and lemon juice to the large bowl.

  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper until smooth and emulsified. Add the dressing to the large mixing bowl. 

  4. Lightly toss the salad with wooden spoons, being careful not to crush the beans. Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of sumac and toss until incorporated into the salad.

  5. To serve, spread 1/4 cup of ricotta into a shallow serving dish. Top with the salad and then add the remaining 1/4 cup of ricotta on top.

  6. Garnish with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sumac, additional salt and olive oil.