Cranberry Bean Salad with Basil, Mint & Feta

Recipe adapted from thekitchn.com.

 

So excited to see cranberry beans in your box!  Judith mentioned to me that we do not often put shelling beans in the boxes.  The process of shelling the beans is positively meditative.  I once agreed to do a fresh shelling bean dish for 150 people ~ I felt downright enlightened by the end of it.  :)  The cranberry beans will not retain their brilliant color when cooked, but I promise, what they lack in appearance they make up for in flavor.  After removing the beans from the shells, boil them in plenty of salted water for about 20 minutes until they are tender.  No need to presoak them.  If you cook them for too long, they will get mushy, so start checking them after 18 or so minutes.  Besides the recipe below, there are many variations for these beans after they are cooked.  You can eat them warm or at room temperature.  We sometimes add corn, garlic, onions and peppers, or sometimes caramelized onions, bacon, white wine and some parsley, or sometimes walnuts, feta and red onions…

— Jenna Muller

ingredients

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 - 3/4 of a lb. fresh cranberry beans, shelled

salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup chopped basil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1/2 cup mild feta cheese, crumbled

instructions

Boil your beans gently (water should be simmering, not boiling hard) for 20 - 30 minutes or until soft in salted water.  While your beans are boiling, sauté the garlic in a tablespoon or so of olive oil.  Set aside to cool.  When your beans are cooked, allow to cool completely and remove from the water (but save a bit of water).  In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, mustard and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing and garlic to the beans and gently stir to combine.  Add 2 teaspoons of the cooking liquid from the beans.  Stir in the basil, mint and feta and allow the salad to stand for 20 minutes.  Taste for salt and serve at room temperature.

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