One of my favorite late summer recipes is Tuscan cranberry beans and Shrimp Salad. Fresh cranberry beans are tough to find unless you frequent the farmer’s market in your neighborhood. My husband generally shells the beans and I generally do the heavy lifting in the kitchen, although this recipe is certainly not very complicated.
I am not sure where “Tuscany” comes into play, but it is probably the pancetta which simply makes everything taste better. This particular recipe comes from Bon Appetit and judging from the number of stains on the recipe appears to have been published around 2000.
Tuscan Cranberry Bean and Shrimp Salad
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh (frozen if desperate) shelled cranberry beans
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 small rosemary sprig
- 2 Tbs finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, stems reserved
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 garlic cloves – one minced, one crushed
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 oz finely chopped pancetta
- 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and de-veined
- 3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground pepper
- In a medium saucepan, combine the beans with thyme, rosemary, parsley stems, bay leaf, crushed garlic and 1 tsp of salt. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderate, cover partially and cook until the beans are tender, 15 to 20 minutes (Note: We prefer 30 to 40 minutes. They should be firm but cooked). Drain the beans and discard the herb stems, bay leaf and garlic clove.
- Heat 3 Tbs of the oil in a large skillet. add the pancetta and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the shrimp and minced garlic an cook, tossing, until the shrimp turn pink, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute longer.
- Add the beans and cook, tossing, for 1 minute. Stir in the chopped parsley and the remaining 1 Tbs of olive wall. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I am in London right now and have found some lovely dried cranberry beans at a local Italian grocery market. Personally, I prefer fresh cranberry beans that you get late in the summer, but these rehydrated cranberry beans work pretty well.