Four Bean Salad
By DK on Oct 23, 2012
I have always been the hearty salad eating kind. Not the ones with some leafy greens thrown in, but ones with some starch/carb like pasta, beans etc. I can make a complete meal with a crusty bread to go along with it. In fact, I prefer these to sitting down for a 2-3 course meal. Although I can't say the same for my better half who prefers substantial and steaming hot food. So we have come to a consensus where I keep these for my lunches and just serve an appetizer portion for him during dinner! Works great for both of us :).
Among the many that I like, this one takes the cake for its freshness and the variety thrown in. I always buy the regular greens beans and Romano beans. The later esp. is a family favorite. Much broader than the regular beans, these flat beans, also known as Italian Green "string" Beans are chewier, more velvety and hearty than regular beans. We especially love it paired with minimal spices and coconut. I do not use the Yellow Wax beans that much but on this day, on a whim, bought all the 3 beans. They looked so fresh and vibrant nestled side by side, that it felt unfair to leave out one of them(!).
To my good fortune I found a perfect recipe that used all three of them along with Kidney beans. It was a dream come true kinda salad for me. Simple to put together with not much of cooking but elegant enough to be served for a party or get together. Myriad colors and flavors come together providing nutrition and heartiness.
recipe adapted from here
Prep Time: 8 hours to 1 day
Cook Time: Under 15 min
Serves: 4 people
Yield: Serves 4-6 people as appetizer and 2-3 people as main course along with crusty bread.
- 2/3 cup dried Red Kidney Beans, see Tips
- 8 oz (abt 230 grams) fresh yellow wax beans
- 8 oz (abt 230 grams) fresh Green beans, see Tips
- 8 oz (abt 230 grams) fresh Italian String beans, see Tips
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
- 1 medium- large onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup apple cider or white vinegar
- 2 tbsp Honey, or to taste, see Tips
- 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp. Dill seed, see Tips
- Salt & pepper, to taste
Tips1.Kidney beans: If short on time or have forgotten to soak the kidney beans, you can substitute 1 (14oz) can of kidney beans. Skip the cooking part of the kidney beans in the recipe. Make sure to drain the beans well and give it a rinse to remove sodium (and/or preservatives) if any.
2.Green Beans: The variety of Green Beans I used is called as "Blue Lake Green Beans". This is a string less variety that I get from my local Farmer's market. You can use any other variety that you may find but just make sure to substitute with a fresh and tender green beans for this recipe.
3.Italian String Beans: These are also known as Romano Beans, Italian Pole Beans or Flat Beans. They are much broader than regular green beans.
4.Honey: To make this Vegan, you can use unbleached Cane Sugar instead or any other sweetener preferable to you.
5.Dill seed: The original recipe uses Celery seed but since I did not have any, I used Dill. Depending upon you preference you can use any of them.
Soak the Kidney beans overnight. To make it quicker (and easier on your refer Tip 1)
I rely on my pressure cooker for my beans.
Cooks them in flat 8-10 minutes (and I don't have to slave for hours cooking them over on stove top!).
Wash and prep the beans while the kidney beans are cooking. Remove the ends and cut them into 1 or 2" pieces.
I steam them seperately (given that they have different cooking time). The romano beans take a little more time to cook than the green and yellow wax beans.
You can also boil them by plunging them into a large pot of salted water.
and when bright and tender, immediately cooling the beans in an ice bath or under cool running water. I simply chose to steam them for less 5 minutes
and add them with the onions, bell pepper and cooked kidney beans. Set aside.
In another bowl or measuring cup, add the cider, honey (you might need anywhere from 2 to 3 tbsp of honey), oil and dill seed. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until combined.
Pour this dressing over the beans and
Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight, making sure to stir once in a while. I kept mine for 5 hours before serving it for dinner.
This keeps well in the fridge for about 4 days(according to the original recipe source). Is very hearty and satisfying.
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