Though I’m generally an advocate for cooking with dried beans and legumes — which are easy to cook but require extra time for soaking and boiling — I’ve found that good-quality canned beans work well in this shrimp and black bean salad recipe.
Making homemade pickled onions is an easy way to add an extra acidic element into a dish, and takes very little effort. Try it as a side dish to grilled steak for a classy riff on surf ‘n turf.
For the pickled onions
- 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 3 juniper berries
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/8 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced crosswise and separated into rings
For the salad
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped (plus more for garnish)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- fine sea salt
- 16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 large clove garlic, very thinly sliced
- 4 ounces Feta cheese, about 3/4 cup
- In a medium heavy skillet, combine all the pickled onion ingredients except the onion. Bring to a boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar.
- Add the onion, reduce to a simmer and cook, gently stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- In a large serving bowl, stir together the beans, scallions, cilantro, 1/4 cup of the olive oil the lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the shrimp and a generous pinch of salt. Cook for 1 minute, then add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Transfer to the serving bowl and toss. Crumble the cheese over the salad and sprinkle with extra cilantro, if desired. Remove the pickled onions from their pickling liquid and serve on the side.
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