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Shrimp and Mixed Bean Salad

Updated February 23, 2016
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It’s the Tuscans who are known as mangia fagioli, or bean eaters, but the Istrians eat their share as well. Perhaps both regions inherited a taste for legumes from the Etruscans, who civilized Tuscany and whose archaeological remains prove that they traveled in Istria. I like this salad for its harmony of textures, colors, and, of course, flavors.

Recommended wine—I’d serve a Ribolla Gialla with this dish. The grape has been cultivated in Friuli and Istria since around the turn of the thirteenth century and has undergone a resurgence of popularity during the last ten years or so. It’s a dry white with balanced acidity, soft yellow color, elegant nose, and a pleasant complexity that complements antipasti and light main dishes.

Serves4

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Courseantipasto/mezze, appetizer

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturelight, sweet, tart

Type of Dishfirst course salad, warm salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh fava bean, shelled
  • 1 pound fresh cranberry beans, shelled
  • ½ small onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small carrot, sliced
  • 1 rib celery, cubed
  • 1 pound large (about 14-20) shrimp, shelled except for the fantails, and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

In two separate pans of boiling water, cook the beans until tender, about 4 and 8 minutes for the favas and cranberry beans, respectively. Drain and refresh the beans under cold running water, and remove the outer skins from the favas.

In a medium saucepan, boil the onion, bay leaves, carrot, and celery in 6 cups of water for 20 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook just until opaque throughout, about 1 minute. Remove and drain the shrimp and allow them to cool.

In a serving bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Add the beans and shrimp, and toss to coat the solids thoroughly. Serve warm as an appetizer.

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