Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Italian Corona Bean Salad

Italian Corona Bean Salad

Use any white bean to make this easy, tasty main or side

A hill of beans, you say? Coming right up.

Today we’re using corona beans (aka royal corona beans), a large white bean that’s very popular in Italy. Their size makes them perfect for an antipasto dish or salad. But if you don’t have corona beans on hand (they’re hard to find), you can substitute any white bean for this dish.

Coronas are worth the effort to search out, though. If for no other reason than to say you’ve bean there, done that. 

Italian Corona Bean Salad

Recipe: Italian Corona Bean Salad

Coronas look somewhat like lima beans, though their flavor is similar to cannellini or great northern beans. They’re a “meaty” bean with substance and texture.

We first learned about corona beans from our friend MJ, who writes the blog MJ's Kitchen. She introducted us to the beans in this post. We were intrigued by corona beans, and found them online at Rancho Gordo (a great supplier, BTW).

Our recipe is slightly adapted from one we found in our favorite bean cookbook, Fagioli, by Judith Barrett. If you like Italian bean dishes, this book is really worth checking out.

Assuming you have cooked beans on hand (see Notes for how to cook dried beans), this dish takes about 15 minutes to make.

This recipe yields 4 side-dish servings, or 2 to 3 mains. Leftovers will keep for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked corona beans (or substitute another white bean of choice)
  • 2 ribs of celery, cut into slices of about ½ inch (or a bit less)
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 small red onion, diced (~¾ cup)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (the better the oil, the better this dish will taste)
  • salt to taste (several pinches of kosher salt for us; see Notes)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste (maybe half a dozen grinds)
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley (the flat-leaf Italian variety is our choice)
  • garnish of red onion slices (optional)

Procedure 

  1. Combine the prepped beans, celery, carrot, and red onion in a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and mix to combine.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix, then add the parsley and mix again.
  3. Let the salad sit for at least 15 minutes. Then serve and enjoy, adding garnish if you wish.

Italian Corona Bean Salad

 Notes

  • You can make this dish an hour or two ahead if you wish. Just cover the bowl with shrink wrap and let it sit on your kitchen counter (this salad is best served at room temperature). 
  • To cook dried corona beans: First, soak the beans. Sort through the beans to remove any dirt or grit, then place them in a large bowl. Add enough water to cover the beans by at least a couple of inches (the beans will swell as they absorb some of the water, so make sure to use a large-enough bowl). Let the beans soak overnight, or at least 8 hours. 
  • When ready to cook the beans: Drain and rinse the beans, then place them in a large cooking pot with a peeled onion. Cover the beans with water by about an inch, then simmer until the beans are done (add more water as they cook if necessary to keep them covered). Depending on how old the beans are, cooking time should range from 1 to 2 hours – usually about 1½ hours. We start tasting the beans after about an hour to see how they’re coming along. When they’re soft and creamy, they’re ready. We generally add salt to the bean pot 20 or so minutes before we think the beans will be done (a teaspoon or so of kosher salt for a pound of beans).
  • Need a quicker soak method? Sort the dried beans, place them in a cooking pot and cover with water, then bring them to a boil. Continue to boil for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the cooking pot, and let the beans sit for 1 hour. Then drain and rinse the beans and proceed with the cooking directions in the Note above.
  • When the beans are done cooking, let them cool in the pot. Fish out the onion and place the cooked beans into 2-cup containers (a pound of dried beans yields about 6 cups cooked). Cover the beans with cooking liquid, then either freeze them for later use or refrigerate for immediate use (like making this salad).
  • Exact quantities aren’t crucial for this recipe. So alter it to taste, or even add/subtract ingredients if you wish.
  • Don’t skimp on the quality of the olive oil – its flavor is important to this dish. So use high quality.
  • We sometimes add a bit of lemon juice or wine vinegar to this dish, but olive oil alone adds sufficient flavor.
  • We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If using table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.

Italian Corona Bean Salad
 Sickos

“Love the beans,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Unfortunate name, though, given our current pandemic.”

“Can’t stop eating these,” I said. “Hope my enthusiasm for them is infectious!”

“That’s another of your jokes that won’t go viral,” said Mrs K R.

I feel dis-eased.

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64 comments:

  1. I have never seen such giant beans in my life...the salad looks so inviting, John.

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    1. Hi Angie, aren't these fun? And great tasting! Thanks for the comment.

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  2. I've never had corona beans before but I'm sure I'd love them. This looks like a simple and delicious bean salad.

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    1. Hi Pam, corona beans are good stuff. :-) And this salad is SO simple, yet so tasty. Thanks for the comment.

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  3. Reading this just before lunch was inspiring: I made a white bean, onion, and carrot salad (with a bit of tomato & lemon juice) and it was delicious. Obviously used canned beans! Thanks for the great idea.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae, it's a nice combo of flavors, isn't it? Tomato is a great addition! Thanks for the comment.

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    2. I posted a photo of my salad in today's blog post. As I said, it was delicious!

      best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    3. Hi Mae, I'll have to check it out! Thanks! :-)

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  4. This sounds delicious, John, and I'm always happy to learn about a new-to-me bean. And a new food blog! Heading over to MJ's Kitchen now. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Terry, you'll love these beans! And MJ's, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  5. Thanks for introducing us to a new bean. Great idea for a meatless Monday and work and school lunches for the week.

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    1. Hi Bobbi, we love beans, so we're always happy to learn about one that's new to us. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  6. Actually, I am not sure if I've ever seen (nor had) these Corona Beans, but oh man they look impressive! :) Also, simple yet delicious salad packed with tons of flavour!

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    1. Hi Ben, these aren't that common. Worth seeking out, though. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. I am on the hunt for these beans. the recipe is right up my alley.

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    1. Hi Bernadette, these are worth seeking out -- SO good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  8. Wow those babies are huge! I had to do a double take on the picture. I always learn something new from your posts.

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    1. Hi Laura, they are the biggest white beans we've ever seen. And really, really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  9. Oh YUM! I'm thrilled to have another delicious recipe for coronas! Thanks! This looks like a very hearty dinner salad. Also, thanks for the very kind words in your shout out. Greatly appreciated in many ways.

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    1. Hi MJ, thank YOU for turning us on to these beauties! Hope; to have another recipe for them soon. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  10. I will have to source corona beans are they more like a butter bean than a Lima bean? This is a delightful way to serve them and definitely cannelleni beans will be a welcome substitute, thanks John. I will be seeking out the Fagioli book as well.

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    1. Hi Merryn, probably a bit more like a butter bean. Really, any white bean would work in this, but the coronas look (and taste!) so great. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  11. Unfortunately the very interesting and attractive corona beans do not seem to be available already grown or even in seed form this side of the Pond . . . .everyone cheerfully tries to sell you cannelini ones in whatever format ! Do like their size . . . further homework may help :) !! Do love to make a similar cannelini bean salad and since temperatures have already reached 28 C during the first week of spring . . . grill-and-salad season is well upon us !!!

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    1. Hi Eha, these are uncommon in the US, too, alas. Love the appearance of them! And flavor too, of course. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  12. Corona beans are totally new to me. The salad sounds delicious. Being a vegan, I will definitely put this salad on my list to try, if I can find corona beans. Otherwise I'll substitute. Thanks

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    1. Hi Judee, bet you'll love this salad -- so good. And vegan. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  13. I just bought some dried lima beans and wondering what to do with them. Love this idea. I've never seen Corona beans available for purchase. Will have to pay more attention.

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    1. Hi Lea Ann, I think corona beans are probably mail order only for most of us --- at least I haven't seem them locally. Worth seeking out, though. Lima beans would be a fun substitute in this dish. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  14. Wow this is what we can call huge beans! It looks absolutely gorgeous, very healthy and tasty :)

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    1. Hi FT, yup, the biggest beans we've seen! Really good, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. I've never seen beans like these before! They are huge and the salad looks lovely.

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    1. Hi Amy, biggest beans we've seen! Really good, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. I'm pretty sure I had these beans but just didn't know the name of them. I am going to have to hunt them down now that I know what they are called :)

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    1. Hi Pat and Dahn, they're good, aren't they? Well worth seeking out. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  17. Cercherò questi fagioli per preparare questa buonissima insalata!

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    1. Hi Lea, corona beans are SO worth looking for. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  18. I’ll have to find these beans for sure, thanks for introducing them. I cook many types of beans – right now I have some black-eyed peas with greens, and also a lentil stew in the refrigerator. Yours are really big beans – I’ll keep the recipe.

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    1. Hi Vagabonde, we love greens with beans! So nice together. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. To be honest, I’ve never heard of these beans, but will look for them, as I love beans and love your recipe.

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    1. Hi Balvinder, these are great beans -- not easy to find, but worth looking for. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  20. I love Coronas for their sheer presence. They're beans that you can't help but zero in on a plate. They take so well to so many flavorings, too. And a generous splash of really good olive oil is the best finish of all.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, aren't these wonderful? And you're SO right about the olive oil. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  21. Hey John, I've never seen or even heard of Corona beans, but they look amazing. Once I get my hands on some, I know just what to make with them first! Thanks for mentioning the supplier and MJ's blog, I will be sure to check them both out! Fun post, love y'all's dialogue at the end 😊

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    1. Hi Marcelle, these beans are totally worth tracking down. Really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  22. Looks delicious and I already have all the ingredients at home. Going to give it a try.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Hi Amalia, this is such a nice, simple dish -- really good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  23. Sounds and look very nice, John! White bean salads are a staple on our table, especially in the summer, though I have to admit, I've never made it with Corona beans. Will need to correct that before outdoor dining season is over...!

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    1. Hi Frank, yes, you DO need to correct that! :D Thanks for the comment.

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  24. Glad I'm not the only one your introducing these beans to! My dad loved every kind of bean salad and I sure wish he was around still so I could make this for him! Looks easy and tasty!

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    1. Hi Liz, any bean lover would like this dish -- really nice. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  25. I'll definitely have to find some corona beans, John. They must be wonderful in this salad. It looks fantastic! I'll have to check my library for that book, as well. Never enough bean dishes!

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    1. Hi Kelly, corona beans have terrific flavor -- definitely worth looking for. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  26. Hi John,
    The only corona I had heard until I read your post was the virus.😊

    These beans are new to me but they look so flavourful.

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    1. Hi Hasin, really, really flavorful. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  27. Hi John,
    A perfect salad! I love what you guys call the corona bean. Here we call it, Stora Vit Bönor which translates to "Big White Bean". They are hugely popular here and available is most all markets either dried or cooked. Although, we use them in soup and stews, cooked and in a salad is likely my favorite. We love them made into a tuna salad similar to the white bean and tuna recipe you posted a while back.

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    1. Hi Ron, I love your name for them! Much more descriptive. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  28. Never had tried a bean like that, looks so good.

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    1. Hi Raymund, these really have a lot of flavor. Plus they're huge -- so much fun. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. John, love the corona humor—you and Mrs Riffs are such a hoot! This is the first I've heard of corona beans! I'm so excited. I love beans and bean salads. Will work on acquiring some of these giant beans.

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    1. Hi Jean, these really are worth tracking down -- nice flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. I’ve bought Rancho Gordo beans at our local grocer — maybe they have Royal Coronas? Love the sound of this! Thanks!

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    1. Hi David, definitely worth looking for corona beans. We'll be having another recipe where we use them appearing soon. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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