Cranberry Bean Salad with Celery, Basil and Mint

I love Russian food, though I haven’t eaten it that often, I’ve loved every taste I have had. One of my closest friends was born in St. Petersburg and moved to the States as a child. While we were both living in New York we took a long subway ride out to Coney Island and Brighton Beach for the day, skipping the famous hotdogs and heading for one of the Russian restaurants that Brighton Beach is known for. I think that we were there a little early  in the day to experience the lively atmosphere that Russian restaurants are so famous for, but the food was phenomenal. Thank god we had her with us, the menus were all in Russian and the staff didn’t speak a word of English, a subway ride to a new world.

When I stumbled upon an article about Russian barbeques in Food & Wine Magazine I knew I had to try some of the dishes. This cranberry bean salad was the perfect meal for a hot summer evening, fresh herbs and a tangy dressing, with the crispness of celery, really delicious.

Cranberry Bean Salad with Celery, Basil and Mint

from Food & Wine

  • 1 pound dried cranberry beans (2 1/2 cups), soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 fresh red chile, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint

In a large pot, cover the beans with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Cover the pot partially and simmer the beans over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 1 hour. Add more water, if necessary, to keep the beans covered. Drain the beans, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, oil and mustard and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the beans to a large bowl. Add the celery, jalapeño, red chile, the reserved bean cooking liquid and the dressing; toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Let the salad stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the basil and mint and serve.

One Year Ago: Asparagus Panzanella

Two Years Ago: Couscous Salad with Yellow Zucchini & Farfalle with Zucchini Flowers and Saffron

~ by italicious on June 24, 2011.

2 Responses to “Cranberry Bean Salad with Celery, Basil and Mint”

  1. This came out as a salad for me and I don’t remember it being too soupy. Maybe try to make the dressing without the reserved cooking liquid and add the liquid as needed to keep it from getting too dry.

  2. Hello, I made this salad this morning, I plan to add the herbs tonight, right before serving. I didn’t pour all of the dressing in after I added the 1/2 cup of bean cooking liquid because it was so soupy, I hate to not have the tanginess of all the dressing, but I feel like it could cold become bean soup instead of salad. In your photograph, yours looks like a salad. Any helpful hints? Thank you!

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