Classic Bean Salad

With Memorial Day and Mother’s Day approaching, my mind has been on picnic food. It’s the time for pasta salad, potato salad, and plentiful vegetables. Gosh, I love summer.

But when it comes to picnic fare, bean salad is often forgotten. Or maybe it’s purposefully left out? Maybe it’s too much if you’re already serving baked beans? Beans aren’t known for being easy on the stomach.

I enjoy beans and I enjoy vegetables. So mixing them together with a dressing sounds quite tasty to me, negative bean connotations put aside.

And depending what you add to your bean salad mixture, it’s a healthier option than pasta or potato salad with all their evil carbs.

Here’s a very classic bean salad recipe for you to try with your burgers and hot dogs this summer. Enjoy! Hopefully the beans will give you some extra energy to mow and weed your yard.

You’ll need:
2-3 cups fresh string beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 can wax beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can chickpeas
3-4 stalks celery
1 bell pepper
1/2 medium onion
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper

You can totally make this recipe easier by replacing the fresh string beans with canned beans. Just use two cans of whatever kind of bean you fancy. I decided to take the extra step with fresh beans because I wanted them to be crisp and bright.

So, first, cook the fresh string beans in boiling water until they’re tender. Drain them and quickly rinse with cold water.
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Chop up the vegetables – celery, pepper, onion – and toss them in a bowl. The smaller the dice, the better.
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Add the canned beans and the cooked string beans to the bowl as well. Easy so far, right?
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In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, and vinegar with the salt and pepper.
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Pour the dressing over the bean and vegetable mixture. Toss everything together.
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Now the hard part. You have to refrigerate the salad overnight. Yes, that means this salad needs to be prepped in advance. Sorry, folks. But allowing it to marinate overnight is important – the flavors have to blend together.

But I promise you’ll be a happy camper when you pull it out of the fridge the next day. It tastes delicious and looks good too. Who knew beans could be this pretty?
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spoon in bean salad
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And don’t let your creativity be inhibited! Feel free to add some herbs (parsley would be good) and other veggies (fresh corn, red peppers).
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bean salad bowl with spoon
I look at this bowl of beans and all I can think is summer is almost here!
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