While visiting our son in Richmond, we ate the most delicious bean “salad” made from a large and creamy white bean I have never had. My daughter-in-law picked it up from the deli department of her local grocery store. Not only was I sure that these beans wouldn’t be available at my local grocery store, but they were also quite expensive. Needless to say, I was determined to figure out a way to make them. I started scouring the internet and found a lot of people looking for a similar recipe. The common denominator in all of the requests was that the salad was made with “giant” white beans. Many people had suggestions as to the type or name of the bean. Giant lima beans and butter beans were most frequently mentioned. Someone thought they might be a bean called Gigante, which sounded like it might be similar to the beans from the deli in Richmond. I learned that Gigante beans are grown in Europe, but that the Corona bean is a good substitute. A search for Corona beans led me to Purcell Mountain Farms. They sell an amazing variety of beans, with very good reviews. I received my order within a few days.
Once I had the beans, I needed a recipe. This was one time that Google did not provide a zillion recipes to weed through, but I found one that seemed like it might work. Maria from Vegetarian Kitchen has a recipe for a Marinated Bean Salad that looked similar, so I decided to try it. They were as delicious as they looked. The only changes I made to the original recipe was to add salt to the beans while they cook. I also added more vinegar to the marinade. The next time I make them, I am going to double the marinade recipe and then drain the beans for serving.
In the end, this whole recipe cost less than $5.00. Quite a bargain, I think.
They turned out fabulous and I will make them again and again!
Let me know how you liked them and any changes you made to tailor the recipe to your taste.
What I learned:
I make these beans quite frequently and what I have learned is that you can adjust the oil & vinegar amounts to suit your mood or taste. I now make the whole bag (1 pound) of beans and double or triple the liquid but do not add more peppers and onions.