Making a three bean soup recently reminded me of our love for three bean salad. I’d picked up a can of prepared salad a few months ago as a side to whatever meat we were grilling and it was ok. Not spectacular. I meant to work on a three bean salad I could count on for flavors and it was simple and quick. Summer was fast approaching and we always need easy sides for when we grill meat.
I picked up a can of green beans that were whole and uncut. I liked that they still had the curly ends on them as they’d make my salad a little more interesting.
I then hunted all over the shelves for the yellow (wax) beans. There was only one kind, an off-brand that were cut up fairly small. But any yellow beans in a pinch, I guess!
The third kind of bean I use is usually a kidney bean. My P.S. (Picky Spouse) argued that I could use any kind of bean: pinto, kidney, white, etc. I chose to use a can of white beans, simply because they were in the front of the shelf. I drained and rinsed all of the beans and added them to a container.
I sliced a small white onion up thinly and added it to the beans. I’m not a huge fan of raw onion but it works for me in this salad. It adds a bit of a crunch as well as flavor.
Next I looked up some recipes to see what others were using as a vinaigrette. I chose the one that used apple cider vinegar, olive oil and sugar. I whisked them together well then poured the vinaigrette over the container of beans and onion.
I stirred the bean salad well, covered the bowl and put it in the refrigerator. They could all sit a few hours and blend until we had dinner.
The bean salad is probably best made way in advance so the beans have time to absorb the vinegar and become almost pickled. I like them to marinate for just a few hours so there is a contrast when eating them. We liked the simple vinaigrette with this salad. It was a nice balance of sweet and tart. The leftover salad was a bit more pickled when we ate it several days later, but it was good as well.
Three Bean Salad
1 can uncut green beans
1 can uncut yellow (wax) beans (mine were cut)
1 can kidney or white beans (I used white beans)
1/4 cup finely sliced onions
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper)
Drain beans and add them along with the onions to a container. You’ll need one that has a lid.
In a separate bowl whisk together vinegar, sugar, oil, salt and pepper until emulsified. Pour over vegetables and stir to coat.
Place lid on container and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serve cold.