Cucumber, Cranberry-Bean, and Beet Salad in Cucumber Boats

Cucumber, Cranberry-Bean, and Beet Salad in Cucumber Boats

Tossed with bacon, yogurt, and curry powder, this combination of cucumbers, beets, and cranberry beans is a real treat.


  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 4 sprigs mint, plus 2 tablespoons thinly sliced leaves

  • ½ white onion

  • 3 half-inch thick slices ginger

  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns

  • 3 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces

  • ½ pound fresh cranberry beans, shelled

  • 4 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock, or water

  • 2 beets, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice

  • 4 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for seasoning

  • 5 large kirby cucumbers

  • ¼ cup plain yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon curry powder


  1. Place garlic, mint sprigs, onion, ginger, and peppercorns on an 8-inch square of cheesecloth. Gather into a bundle, and secure with kitchen twine. Set aside.

  2. Prepare an ice bath; set aside. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat; add bacon. Cook until it is crisp, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate; let drain. Pour off excess fat from pan, and discard.

  3. In same saucepan, combine beans, cheesecloth bundle, and chicken stock; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook 5 minutes. Add beets; continue cooking until beans and beets are tender, about 15 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons salt, and remove and discard cheesecloth bundle. Transfer mixture, with the liquid, to a large bowl set over the ice bath to chill.

  4. When ready to serve, drain bean mixture in a colander. Peel cucumbers, slice in half lengthwise, and remove seeds using a spoon or melon baller. Cut 2 cucumbers into 1/4-inch dice. Reserve remaining cucumber halves.

  5. Transfer bean mixture to a large bowl; add yogurt, olive oil, diced cucumbers, remaining 2 tablespoons sliced mint, reserved bacon, curry powder, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Stir gently to combine. To serve, spoon bean-mixture into reserved cucumber halves.

Cook's Notes

The bean mixture can be made up to one day in advance; carve the cucumber boats and proceed with step four just before serving.

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