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Borlotti bean salad with pomegranate vinaigrette

A bowl of Borlotti bean salad with red onions, celery, walnuts, and pomegranate arils.

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Borlotti bean salad with pomegranate vinaigrette, walnuts, and fresh herbs is a zesty, oil-free powerhouse of flavors and nutrition.


Units Scale
  • 2 - 15 oz. (400 gm.) cans of Borlotti beans (or other red beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 small red onion, cut in half, and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup of diced celery (1 - 2 stalks)
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • The seeds of 1 pomegranate (1/2 - 3/4 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp. of Ancho chili flakes


  1. Make the dressing by combining the pomegranate molasses, lime juice, garlic, and ancho chili flakes in a small bowl. Set it aside to allow so that the flavors can build.
  2. Remove the seeds (arils) from the pomegranate. Set them aside for the moment.
  3. Add the beans, onions, celery, parsley, chives, and cilantro to a medium salad bowl. Toss the ingredients, and then add the walnuts and pomegranate.
  4. Add the dressing. Mix well to cover all the ingredients. Allow the salad to sit for 30 minutes to combine the flavors.
  5. Serve the salad cold or at room temperature. You can also make this salad a day ahead and mix in the walnuts right before serving.


  • The preptime includes allowing the salad to sit for 30 minutes. 
  • The best substitute for Borlotti beans is pinto beans. You can also use red kidney beans or get creative and make a mix. 
  • Pomegranate molasses can be found at Middle Eastern markets. If you need a substitute, try 1 tablespoon of pomegranate or cranberry juice with 1 tablespoon of reduced balsamic vinegar. You can also use tamarind paste with ½ a teaspoon of date paste.
  • If you omit the cilantro, double the parsley.
  • Celery has a delightful crunch for this recipe. If you need a substitution, diced cucumber won’t be as crisp but will complement the other ingredients.