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Tuscan Cranberry Bean and Shrimp Salad

Yield 4
This main-course salad combines some of my favorite Italian ingredients--pancetta, garlic, rosemary and fruity olive oil. It's usually made with dried cannellini beans, so this version, made with frozen or fresh beans, takes less time and is brighter tasting.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen shelled cranberry beans or 1 1/2 pounds fresh, shelled
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 small rosemary sprig
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, stems reserved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves--1 crushed, 1 minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground pepper

How to Make It

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the beans with the thyme, rosemary, parsley stems, bay leaf, crushed garlic and 1 teaspoon 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. Drain the beans and discard the herb stems, bay leaf and garlic clove.

  2. Heat 3 tablespoons 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 and 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 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  3. Wine Recommendation: Turn to an assertive Tuscan white, such as Vernaccia di San Gimignano, for a refreshing contrast to the rich beans. Try the 1998 San Quirico or the 1997 Teruzzi & Puthod.