Arik Bensimon’s Do-Ahead Savory Summer Salad

Roasted Carrots, beets, fermented black beans

There’s always a lot of buzz around Le FarmBill Taibe‘s farm to table restaurant in Westport, CT. Taibe is admirably and firmly committed to sourcing from many of my favorite farms within a short distance from his charming and very popular restaurant.

Truth is though, I’ve struggled to find enough vegetarian friendly fare to keep me going back as a regular. So imagine my surprise when Executive Chef, Arik Bensimon messaged me on facebook to tell me that he was cooking up a new vegetarian entree and hoped that I would come and taste it with him.

Would I?!

Arik Ben Simon creating

I’ve followed his cooking for a few years now as he’s cooked in some of the most creative kitchens in restaurants near my hometown. Arik’s parents are Moroccan/Israeli via Queens, NY; my favorite dishes are those with some references to his love for Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines.

The farms

His quiet confidence and deep appreciation for the farm resources in CT shape his menu.  He shops the farmers’ markets and communicates directly with his favorite farmers in order to score the freshest local ingredients. He’s intent on adding more vegetarian and (kosher friendly) fish to his menu at LeFarm.

I can’t wait to taste what he dreams up next.


This recipe for Roasted Carrots, Beets and Fermented Black Beans has complex and satisfying umami flavors from Bensimon’s use of  fermented beans. Do not be put off by this simple ingredient.

Click here to read what Max Falkowitz, of Serious Eats, had to say about fermented black beans, their complex flavors, and where to buy them.

Roasted Carrots, Beets and Fermented Black Beans

4 servings

Roasted Carrots, Beets and Fermented Black Beans

Arik Bensimon, Chef at Le Farm in Westport, CT, shared this dish with me on a recent summer afternoon. He added lemony sorrel leaves and freshly shelled summer peas as colorful toppings for my photos. Feel free to do the same in your own kitchen.

This salad is kosher, vegetarian and dairy.


  • 9 carrots
  • 6 beets
  • 2 limes (juiced)
  • 1 stalk celery
  • ½ onion
  • 1 Cup fermented black beans
  • 10 mint leaves (cut into strips)
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1Tsp.toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ Tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 8 T EVOO (olive oil)
  • 1 Cup sour cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place each beet on one piece of aluminum foil.
  3. Fold up the sides of the aluminum foil around the beet.
  4. Add 1 tsp. EVOO, salt (to taste), 1 sprig of thyme an 2 Tablespoons of water to each beet "packet".
  5. Close the aluminum foil around each beet.
  6. On a cookie sheet or ovenproof dish, roast beets until cooked through, approx. 1 hour.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  10. Peel 8 carrots and toss with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Lay carrots on cookie sheet or in an ovenproof dish.
  12. Roast until tender but still firm, approx. 25 mins.
  13. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
  14. BLACK BEANS**:
  15. Drain and rinse beans.
  16. Place beans in a pot and cover with water.
  17. Add one carrot (whole), 1 celery stalk (whole), ½ onion (not chopped).
  18. Bring to a boil.
  19. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 35 minutes.
  20. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature in the liquid.
  21. Once beans are at room temperature, drain and set aside.
  23. Once beets and carrots are cooked and at room temperature, cut carrots and beets to desired length/width.
  24. In a bowl, combine carrots, beets, black beans, 2 Tablespoons of EVOO, 1 ½ Tablespoons of lime juice, half of the sesame seeds, pinch of cayenne pepper, sesame oil, salt (to taste).
  25. In a small bowl mix together sour cream and the rest of the lime juice.
  26. Drizzle sour cream mixture over salad.
  27. Sprinkle the rest of the sesame seeds over the salad.
  28. Serve.


**Beans should be soaked in cold water over night.

Serve this salad at room temp.



  1. Looks divine.
    All of the new-ish farm to table restaurants look great, until looking closer at the choices if one doesn’t eat pork or shellfish. So glad to see some vegetarian choices coming to Le Farm. :-)

    • My sentiments exactly! LMK how you like the new dishes on Le Farm’s menu. With owner, Bill Taibe and ChefmArik Bensimon being so committed to local farms, each dish is sure to sing with freshness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>