Black Bean And Potato Salad Recipe That Is Delicious

This black bean and potato salad recipe is not only delicious but easy and flexible enough with the ingredients that you will love it for any weeknight meal.

Bean And Potato Salad - Dressing

Adding Olive Oil To Dressing

I was reviewing my blog posts recently to make sure I was balancing the topics well across culture, sites and food in Italy and I realized that I had not been giving enough attention to Italian food that can be made at home. I have written about restaurants that are worth visiting and I will continue to do that, but I wanted to focus more of my time on the delicious fresh produce available, ingredients that are difficult to find outside of Italy and amazing dishes that you can make at home.

Kitchen Tools And Cookware

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Mixing Bowls

Only recently have a realized how great mixing bowls with lids are and these stainless steel beauties are amazing!

Pasta MakerGnocchi BoardPasta BoardRavioli Maker
Ravioli Press/StamperRicerBialetti Pasta PotBamboo Cutting Board Set of 3
Silpat Baking MatSantoku KnifeMeasuring Cups and SpoonsStainless Mixing Bowls
Dutch OvenMesh StrainersStainless ColanderStainless Steel Fry Pan

I’m starting today with a very easy recipe and one that might be called Italian only due to the fact that I bought the ingredients in Rome and I am making the dish at my home also in Italy. Anyone with a sharp knife can make this salad and the ingredients are available almost anywhere. 

The recipes will vary in difficulty, but I wanted to start with this Bean and Potato Salad Recipe because it was a lifesaver this summer. We ate this salad over multiple nights and weeks and we never got sick of it. It also didn’t heat up the house TOO much, which was important during this past summer.

If you would like a free copy of this recipe in PDF format, please sign up for access to our Recipe Box which contains a growing list of amazing Italian recipes discussed on this blog, including this delicious recipe.

Bean And Potato Salad Ingredient Recommendations

Bean And Potato Salad - Options

Choose Any Bean You Like!

Best Beans For Your Potato Salad

This ingredient is where you can have the most fun because you are only limited to the beans that are available to you. They can be canned or dried, but I have been using dried beans and the recipe will assume that you are as well.

I rotated between dried Ceci beans (a.k.a. Garbanzo or Chickpeas), black beans and Borlotti beans that I purchased at the New Esquilino Market, which is one of the farmers markets in Rome. You can certainly try any bean you like, but you might try to keep the size a bit smaller, but it is only a matter of taste.

If you are unfamiliar with Borlotti beans, also known as cranberry beans, are bred in Italy to have a thicker skin. It is used in Italian, Portuguese, Turkish, and Greek cuisine. It is similar to the pinto bean, but they are larger and have maroon specks on a creamy white background.

Bean And Potato Salad - Steaming

Steaming Potatoes

Best Potatoes For This Bean Salad

I LOVE potatoes in Italy because I enjoy a waxier potato. At our market I can usually find a typical white potato as well as red potatoes, which I usually prefer, but you can use either one. You only want to avoid a baking potato because it won’t hold its shape and it will turn into a soggy mess. Waxy is best for this dish.

Red Tropea Onions Are Best

For purely aesthetic reasons I prefer a red onion for this salad, but yellow onions will work fine for it.

Bean And Potato Salad - Tropea Onions

Small Diced Red Onions

One thing I have been unable to try, but I suspect would be delicious, would be to try shallots in place of onions. This might make it a little less Italian only because I have not seen these available at my street vendor (fruttivendolo), but I’m guessing it would be delicious.

Easy Salad Dressing Recipe

I have been surprised how much I have been enjoying vinegar and oil dressing, even when I make it myself. When I was younger I never enjoyed it, but that was probably because in the US something called: Italian Dressing was the only comparable thing available to me.

Santoku Knife

The Santoku style knife is my favorite when I’m cooking and Victorinox makes a great one!

You want to use your best extra-virgin olive oil, apple vinegar and Dijon mustard, but you can try some variations for the vinegar and mustard. I’ve used plain white vinegar and it was fine, but here it is commonly used as a cleaner in the kitchen, so I am a little weirded out using it in food, even though there is nothing wrong with doing that. For the mustard, I initially tried yellow mustard, which I love, but I think the Dijon mustard adds a little something special and I recommend that.

Black Bean And Potato Salad Recipe

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Servings: 6, but it depends if you eat this as a side or main dish

Ingredients For The Bean And Potato Salad

  • 2 large red-skinned potatoes, or new potatoes. The waxier the better!
  • 200 grams of dried beans (Borlotti, Ceci or Black)
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1/2 cups of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup of Apple Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of dried Oregano
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps To Make The Easy Black Bean And Potato Salad

  1. The night before you plan to make this salad, you need to measure out 200g of the dried beans and put them in a large bowl, covered well with water, to soak overnight. Make sure there is a lot of water because the beans should double in size.
  2. After at least 12 hours, or better yet overnight, drain the beans, rinse them off and put them in a pan well covered with water, and bring to a boil. I add a fair amount of salt at the beginning, but others have different opinions on when you should add the salt. Set a timer for 30 minutes once the beans are boiling, reduce the heat to a slower boil and keep skimming the starchy foam collecting on the top of the water.
  3. Prep the potatoes quickly so you can use the same 30 minute timer as the beans. Potatoes from Italian produce vendors are still dirty, so be sure to scrub the potatoes really well, but keep them whole and unpeeled. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add 1-2 teaspoons of salt. Bring it to a boil while covered, then when boiling, uncover the pan and reduce the heat, cooking for about 30 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and let cool completely.
  4. The beans take a little more time to cook, so once the potatoes are done, check the beans every 5 or 10 minutes until they are cooked. It usually takes a total of 40-45 minutes for the beans, depending on the type you chose to use.
  5. After the potatoes have cooled off enough to handle, peel them completely and dice as evenly, or as “rustically”, as you would like.
  6. Small dice the red onion.
  7. Add the onions, beans and potatoes to a large bowl, mix it all up and season to taste.
  8. For the dressing, combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard and oregano in a jar with a tight lid and shake mercilessly to emulsify the dressing.
  9. Add the dressing to the bean, potato and onion mixture and mix well. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if you think it needs it.
  10. Store the salad in the refrigerator and plan for it to be eaten the next day. It takes a little time for the dressing to mix well and absorb into the beans and potatoes and it is best served cold.
Bean And Potato Salad - summer

I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we did this past summer!

Other Recipes That Might Interest You

If you enjoyed this easy black bean and potato salad recipe, here are some of my other recipes that you might want to try as well:

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