Tuesday, July 8, 2014

3-Bean Salad

It's bean season, and at the market the lines might not be as long for beans as they are for berries or even Japanese cucumbers, but seriously, who doesn't love green beans?

I can always think of something to do with a handful of them.

As market shoppers loaded up big bags of beans, I was tempted to ask what other shoppers were making, but as I filled my my bag, a simple 3-bean salad came to mind. In a soup, tbe mild tones of green beans could get lost. In a stir fry, another vegetable like peppers would grab the lead role, but a 3 bean salad is a harmony of textures and flavors, with each bean a supporting actor.

3-Bean Salad is just one of those dishes, I've just got to have at least once during green bean season season.

Those green beans salads with the dull-colored canned green beans may be okay for some people, but at our house, canned just won't do. The green beans have to be fresh. Try fresh yellow beans or romano beans, but fresh is the key. 

At the market, green beans seem to come all at once.  Romano beans might last a little longer, but the season seems fleeting, so get them while farmers have big baskets of them. 

How can you resist the names of some beans?

Rockridge Orchards cider vinegar needs no introduction.  This past weekend farmer Wade Bennett was selling marionberry apple cider vinegar.

I got green beans at Willie Green's Organic Farm.   In case you don't know by now, I love this Seattle farmers market in the summer!

This is the easiest main dish salad ever! 

Cut the green beans into one-inch pieces and blanch the beans for a few minutes.  Run them under icy cold water to set the color.

You can use any fresh beans you like.  You don't need to get fancy, just go for tender varieites.  Younger means more tender. These purple beans are pretty but when cooked, they lose their color.

It's hard to keep green beans from the market a secret around here.

The berry vinegar gives this salad a tangy berry flavor.  After I made it, I contemplated using cashew cream instead of aioli spread.  Maybe next week.    

Who doesn't love all the great salad experiments of summer!

I'm sharing this one at Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday.  Also check out this recipe that Miz Helen Shared.

3-Bean Salad with Sweet Onions
(Serves 4)

3/4  pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 15-ounce can  kidney beans, drained
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans or chick peas, draned
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Wildwood aioli or vegan mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
2 tablespoons berry or apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest 
1/2 cup small dice fresh sweet onion
1/2 cup small dice fresh red pepper
Smoked sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Blanch green beans for 2 minutes. They should be tender-crisp, slightly underdone.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Combine with kidney and garbanzo beans.

Combine mustard, aioli, agave nectar, vinegar, olive oil, garlic and lemon zest.  Mix well.  Gently stir into green beans.  Mix in onions and red peppers.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with crusty bread or bagels. 

Vinegar saps the color of green beans, so if you want them really green, eat this salad right away.  I don't mind a bit of color missing.  I like to save some for the next day.

My Cooking Assistant doesn't appreciate being left out of the final photo shoot.


Miz Helen said...

Hi Debra,
We have been canning green beans from the garden, they sure are nice this year. I will make your salad it looks awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great week and come back soon!
Miz Helen

Debra Daniels-Zeller said...

I have cannning envy. I bet your green beans are delicious. Thanks for stopping by!