Vermont Cranberry Bean Salad with Toasted Black Quinoa and Feta Cheese


  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberry beans (see cooking instructions above)
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 cup black quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


How to prepare Vermont Cranberry beans
For basic preparation, shell the beans, cover with water in a 3 – 4 quart pan, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Fresh beans cook much faster than dried beans and are done when they no longer taste mealy. When done, drain and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. They can be served hot with butter or olive oil, but are particularly good served at room temperature with olive oil, lemon juice and chopped fresh parsley. This is similar to the way beans are served in Italy as part of an antipasto tray and makes a great addition to a mix of cheeses, olives and sausages for an appealing appetizer.

Cook beans and set aside (see instructions above). In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed, about 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Let cool, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and the 1/4 cup olive oil. Pour over the quinoa and stir until incorporated. Stir in the cranberry beans, cucumber, parsley, cheese, salt and pepper.