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Protein Packed Salad Spread

I’m having a day where I’m missing my childhood favorites like egg and tuna salad sandwhiches, but I also remembered feeling bloated after eating them. Then The Full Helping came along with this incredible recipe for a flavorful smashed garlic tahini white bean salad. I can have it for breakfast on a piece of toast, a sandwich, wrap or salad topper for lunch. It is packed with protein white beans, crunchy celery and shallots, a burst of lemon, the freshness of dill, and–to top it all off–a creamy, garlicky tahini dressing that brings it all together.

Ingredients:

1 whole head garlic, top sliced off crosswise
1 teaspoon olive oil
¼ cup tahini
⅓ cup water
Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups cooked cannellini, great northern, or navy beans (or 2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed)
1 large or 2 small stalks celery, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced shallots (substitute green onion)
¼ cup loosely chopped, fresh dill (substitute 2 tablespoons dried dill, or you can try another herb of choice)
Optional toppings: sliced radish or avocado, marinated artichoke hearts, arugula or other greens, sprouts, etc.
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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375F. Rub the teaspoon of olive oil over the exposed garlic cloves. Wrap the whole head of garlic in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until the head of garlic is very soft and the cloves are lightly golden.

Place the tahini, water, lemon, mustard, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor. Squeeze all of the cloves of garlic from the roasted head into the blender. Blend the ingredients on high till creamy and smooth.

Place the beans, celery, shallot, and dill in a mixing bowl. Add about three quarters of the dressing (you may want to hold off on using all of it until you mix up the salad and see whether you’d like to use more). Use a potato masher or fork to mash the dressing up with the beans and to smash about half of the white beans (you want half of them to stay whole). Taste the salad, add more dressing as needed, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Spread the salad on toast and top with toppings of choice. Serve.

Leftover salad will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
A quick word about roasting the garlic: if you’re really pressed for time, feel free to use 2 raw cloves in place of all the roasted cloves. I personally think that the roasted garlic is sweeter and has more depth of flavor, and I suspect that you’ll agree, so the roasting time is worth it if you can make it work. (It’s also a good option for those of you who don’t love raw garlic, but do love the flavor of cooked garlic!)

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