Bean Recipes from Lynn
June 25, 2003

Summer is on the way and bean salads are a great way to lighten up the fare. They also can be prepared ahead and served anytime, for lunch, dinner or even a snack.

Pinto Bean Salad is quite simple and tasty. It can be made with home cooked pinto beans or canned. The celery provides crunch, the onions boost the flavor and, if you use the green tops, they both add color contrast. Green onions are plentiful, inexpensive and milder flavored than the large ones, although, one medium onion, chopped fine, may be substituted.
I changed the dressing from salad dressing (Miracle Whip) to Thousand Island dressing, a tangier, more colorful addition. If you add green chilies, you may want to use salad dressing, so it will not detract from that flavor.

The original recipe specified crumbled white cheese and, I, again, was looking for more flavor and color contrast. I tried the salad with and without the cheese and decided it was essential. This salad could easily be varied to use leftovers from the fridge and your favorite fresh vegetables and flavors.

A salad recipe in the Bon Appetit magazine inspired the Navy Bean Shrimp Salad. And I will have to admit that I, also, wanted to use some shrimp left in the freezer. The original recipe advised the cook to start with raw shrimp and prepare a broth with the shrimp shells, vegetables and spicesÑ (bouquet garni), white wine and 8 cups of water. That mixture would be simmered several hours until reduced to 2 cups. The strained, flavorful broth would then be used to cook the fresh shrimp for four minutes and, afterwards, added to the water used to cook the beans. If you are cooking the beans from scratch and donÕt have time to make the broth, cook your own shrimp, etc., try an alternate method to produce more flavorful beans. Use the directions for Zesty Beans from our Web site,, leaving the vegetables whole so they can be removed after the beans are cooked. Substitute 1 cup of white wine for 1 cup of cooking water and add a whole clove, up to a teaspoon of coriander seed and a little rosemary. Other seafood could be substituted for the shrimp. The salty black olives seemed to be just the right touch to top off the salad, if you happen to have deli-style, even better.

It is an interesting, gourmet-style salad. Bean Appetit!

Navy Bean Shrimp Salad
4 1-cup main dish servings, 8 side dish/salad servings
1 15-ounce can or 11Ú2 cups cooked navy beans
1 pound cooked shrimp
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves,
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
4 tomatoes
Salt and pepper
8 black olives
3 Tablespoons sweet red or green onion

Drain navy beans, reserving 2 Tablespoons of the liquid. Rinse beans. Remove shrimp from refrigerator or thaw according to package directions.  Remove shrimp tails. Put beans and shrimp in a bowl with a cover.  
Dressing: Cut onion into pieces, snip parsley off stems into 1/2 cup measure, do not wash or pack. Set both aside. In a blender or small processor, combine bean liquid with lemon juice and mustard. Turn machine on. Pour olive oil in a thin steam through the hole in the top as machine is running. Remove cover, add onion and parsley. Cover, blend to puree vegetables. 

Add dressing to beans and shrimp, scraping out container. Stir. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
When preparing to serve the salad, cut tomatoes in half. Squeeze out seeds and discard. Coarsely chop tomatoes and stir into bean-shrimp mixture. Taste salad to check seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste. Salad may be refrigerated for up to 2 hours at this point. Tear off washed lettuce leaves, place one on each plate. Drain any excess dressing off salad. Toss salad lightly and spoon into mounds on the lettuce. Top with black olives. Serve.

Pinto Bean Salad
8   1/2-cup servings
1 15-ounce can or 2 cups cooked pinto beans
1 cup diced celery
1/2 bunch green onions
3/4 cup shredded colby and monterey jack or cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fat-free thousand island dressing
Optional: Fresh or canned, chopped green chilies
Bacon bits

Drain pinto beans in a sieve or colander. Wash, clean and slice green onions, fine.   Combine pinto beans, celery, green onions and cheese in a serving bowl. Stir in dressing to thoroughly moisten, adding more dressing and salt as desired.  Refrigerate, covered. Serve cold on a lettuce leaf.
Optional: Add fresh or canned green chilies. Garnish with bacon bits.
Substitute mayonnaise or salad dressing for a milder salad.
Store-bought chili dressing or chili powder added to mayo or salad dressing could be substituted for the green chilies to make a Chili Pinto Bean Salad.





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