Melissa Hemsley’s Roasted White Beans with Caesar Style Tahini Dressing Recipe

I love this dressing so this recipe makes an extra. Use it as a dip, in a lunch wrap, over roasted cauliflower and broccoli, drizzled with roasted sweet potatoes or mixed with pasta salad.

Lizzie Mayson


3 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
400g can white beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary
1 handful of walnuts or pecans
1 handful of bread, cut into 1 cm pieces
1 small pearl lettuce
1 head of red chicory or other small pearl lettuce
Sea salt and black pepper

2 anchovy fillets (in a jar or can)
2 1⁄2 tablespoons tahini (well stirred in the jar first)
1 clove of garlic
3⁄4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 handful grated parmesan or other hard cheese, plus extra for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 9, then place 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of ghee in a large roasting tin and place in the oven to warm.
  2. Meanwhile, dry the beans well in a tea towel to make sure they don’t spit into the hot ghee.
  3. Once the tray is hot, remove from the oven and toss the beans in the melted ghee, with a good pinch of salt and pepper and the dried herbs, then spread out in a single layer and roast for 15 minutes. Add the rest of the ghee and the nuts and bread pieces, mix well and spread again in a single layer, then return to the oven to cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and allow the roasted bean mixture to cool for 10 minutes if you have time, as it will become crispier as it cools.
  4. Meanwhile, add the dressing ingredients to the small bowl of a food processor, along with about 4 tablespoons of water, then blend to combine. Season with salt and pepper and add 1-2 tablespoons water if the dressing needs to be diluted.
  5. Trim the ends of the lettuce and chicory, separate the leaves, then wash and dry very well so the dressing doesn’t slide off the leaves. Arrange randomly on a large serving platter.
  6. Divide the roasted bean mixture over the leaves, drizzle with half the dressing and sprinkle with additional cheese.

VARIATION To make this plant-based dish, replace the anchovies with 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce or 1 teaspoon miso paste plus 2 teaspoons pickling liquid from a caper jar. Instead of cheese, use 1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast and roast the beans in olive oil.

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Feel good
Our recipes come from Feel good by Melissa Hemsley, out May 19 from Ebury Press, price £22. To order a copy for £18.70 until May 22, go to or call 020 3176 2937. Free postage on orders over £20.

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