Sides and Snacks

Za’atar and White Bean Salad

Looking to put a little crunch in your lunch? Make a batch for your fridge to eat plain, over lettuce, as a side salad, heck, as dessert (!!) all week.

I am obsessed with white bean salad. The mom of one of my childhood best friends introduced the concept to me, and it went on to make up 90% of my meals senior year of college (you think I’m kidding, but poll my roommates). So, when I found Trader Joe’s suddenly stocked a Za’atar seasoning blend, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to put a new twist on one of my tried and true classics.


(Makes 4 servings as a side)

  • 1 can (15.5oz) cannellini beans
  • 3 keiki cukes (mini cucumbers), sliced in half moons
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp za’atar seasoning 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 


  1. Put all ingredients in a big bowl, stir, and enjoy all week!


Below is a photo of the Trader Joe’s spice blend I use. For those based in Hawaii, unfortunately Trader Joe’s only exists on the mainland so perhaps find a friend who can bring a jar back for you!

What can I learn while I make this? What Za’atar is! Za’atar is not an individual herb, but rather a Middle Eastern spice mixture. The exact combination of spices that make up the blend vary. The Trader Joe’s bottle that I used included sesame seeds, thyme, marjoram, coriander, oregano, chickpea flour, sea salt, sunflower oil, citric acid and lemon oil. If you like Mediterranean food, you’ve likely already had Za’atar on your hummus or pita. Yet I challenge you to jump outside your Za’atar box! My favorite use of this spice blend right now is on a fried egg atop ciabatta bread.

What if I want a yummy salad but not this one? Don’t worry– I won’t be offended! Check out these other ideas below:

Want more Carmel Kama’aina content? Follow me on Instagram. All my latest recipes, poems, and behind the scenes tricks are published first on Instagram. Sneak a peek below:


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