Thursday, October 21, 2010

Three-Bean Salad

This is a fresher, healthier update of Three-Bean Salad. It's also leaps and bounds better than the canned Jolly Green Giant version, although I personally have a soft spot for that particular product (throw some onto a big tuna or chicken salad--yum!).

This is also a quick and easy side, which provides both a green vegetable and filling starch. It was all we needed to go with a simple grilled chicken lunch. I'm slovenly devoted to those no-mess, steam-in-the-microwave bags of frozen veggies, so that's what I used. Seriously, those products are god's gift to veggie lovers. If you want to blanche or steam fresh beans, that would be wonderful too.

Three-Bean Salad
This can definitely be made ahead, with the dressing acting as a nice marinade (add the parsley just before serving). However, the longer it sits, the duller the color of the green beans. A few hours is optimal, but I think a day ahead would be fine too.

Serves 4 to 6

1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 medium red onion (halved lengthwise), sliced paper thin
1 (12 to 16 oz) bag frozen green beans
3 Tbs safflower or canola oil
3 Tbs white wine vinegar
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsley

In a large bowl, combine beans and onion. Prepare an ice bath (fill a large bowl halfway with ice and add cold water). Steam green beans in microwave according to package directions (I like the beans slightly under done and firm for this salad). Immediately chill green beans in ice bath for about 3 minutes to stop cooking and preserve bright color. Drain and air dry or pat dry with paper towel. Add to bowl with other beans.

In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine oil, vinegar, sugar and mustard. Shake until emulsified (if you don't have a jar, whisk in a bowl). Drizzle about two-thirds of dressing over bean mixture and toss. Add more dressing if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Just before serving, add parsley and toss again.


Rivki Locker said...

I make a similar bean salad and have a tip to share: prepare the salad up to 24 hours ahead of time, but don't mix in the string beans until you're ready to serve. The other beans really benefit from the marinating time, but as Julie says, the color of the string beans suffers. This trick gives you the best of both worlds!

Barbara said...

Bean salads are such a super picnic item mother always used yellow wax beans and lima beans as well. A five bean salad!