Carrot & White Bean Salad with Yogurt-Sesame Sauce

Adapted from Still Life with Menu
Preparation time: 35 minutes plus time to chill
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Strips of carrot are cooked until tender, then combined with white beans, marinated thoroughly, and topped with delicious Yogurt-Sesame Sauce. You can make both the salad and sauce a day or two in advance, and refrigerate them in separate tightly covered containers. (Leave out the fresh herbs until shortly before serving.)

1 1/2 pounds carrots
1 15-ounce can white pea beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Black pepper to taste
1/4 cup finely minced parsley
3 scallions, minced
2 to 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
Yogurt-Sesame Sauce (recipe follows)
  1. Peel or scrub the carrots, and cut them into thin, flat matchstick pieces about 1 1/2 inches long and 1/4 inch wide. Steam until just tender (5 to 10 minutes), then refresh them under cold running water, and drain well.
  2. Transfer the carrots to a medium-large bowl, and add the beans, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, cumin, and pepper. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for at least several hours (and up to several days).
  3. Stir in the parsley, scallions, and dill within about 30 minutes of serving time. Serve cold or at room temperature, topped with a healthy dollop of Yogurt-Sesame Sauce.
Yogurt-Sesame Sauce

1/2 cup sesame seeds
3/4 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons finely minced parsley
1 tablespoon light honey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
Up to 1/3 cup water (optional)
  1. Whirl the seeds in a blender or electric spice grinder for about 15 to 20 seconds, or until ground to a fine meal. (Don't let it turn into a paste.) Transfer to a medium-small bowl.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients, except the water, and mix until well combined. Thin with water to desired consistency. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.
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