Shrimp and Bean Salad

Tonight’s dinner is brought to you by a bit of miscommunication…

We watch more than our fair share of cooking shows on TV, and there are times when the shows just blur together. It’s especially true when shows use a lot of the same ingredients.

Case in point: Last week Lidia had a recipe for a shrimp and bean dish – and so did America’s Test Kitchen. I vaguely remembered the one from ATK and didn’t really remember the one from Lidia. Victor did, however, and said he thought it sounded really good.

Never one to pass up a dinner suggestion and thinking I knew what he was talking about, I headed over to the ATK website and printed the recipe. Their recipe called for 2 cans of cannellini beans, but since we had a half bag of dried, I soaked them overnight and cooked them early this afternoon.

With beans cooked and shrimp thawed, it was just going to be a matter of a few minutes in the kitchen to get it all together. We were talking and I said something about America’s Test Kitchen – we tend to mock them a lot – and Victor said, no, it’s a Lidia recipe.

I did a classic HUH?!?

He said not to worry about it, dinner is dinner, but… he was looking forward to something else… I went to Chef Google and got Lidia’s recipe.

Her recipe called for fresh fava beans and cranberry beans, but cannellini beans were ready. I used them.

It was really good.  It was fresh, it was light, and absolutely perfect for an 80°F day. And it saved me from shelling fresh beans – something I’m really not opposed to, but… I spent a good portion of the day cleaning out the shed and getting the 18 partial cans of paint opened and outside to dry do we can get it into the trash one of these days. I was looking for a bit of unattended cooking.

Shrimp and Bean Salad

So here is the Lidia Recipe and the America’s Test Kitchen Recipe. I think I’ll make the other one next week. it sounds good, too!

Have fun!

Shrimp and Mixed Bean Salad

Lidia Bastianich


  • 1 pound fresh fava bean, shelled
  • 1 pound fresh cranberry beans, shelled
  • 1/2 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
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


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.

Tuscan Shrimp and Beans

America’s Test Kitchen


  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound large shell-on shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), peeled, deveined, and tails removed, shells reserved
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced thin
  • 2 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry, and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans (1 can drained and rinsed, 1 can left undrained)
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice


1. Dissolve sugar and 1 tablespoon salt in 1 quart cold water in large container. Submerge shrimp in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Remove shrimp from brine and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add shrimp shells and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to turn spotty brown and skillet starts to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and carefully add 1 cup water. When bubbling subsides, return skillet to medium heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Strain mixture through colander set over large bowl. Discard shells and reserve liquid (you should have about 1/4 cup). Wipe skillet clean with paper towels.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil, onion, garlic, anchovies, pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in now-empty skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add 1 can drained beans, 1 can beans and their liquid, tomatoes, and shrimp stock and bring to simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

4. Reduce heat to low, add shrimp, cover, and cook, stirring once during cooking, until shrimp are just opaque, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in basil and lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to serving dish, drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and serve.