I vaguely remember this being on the regular meal eating rotation when I was growing up. I, also, had forgotten about it until last summer when we were visiting my sister and her family. My brother-in-law, made a version of it and suddenly childhood memories came rushing back. Needless to say, I came home and began making my version of the recipe for a perfect Three Bean Salad.
This recipe is simply easy to make, so easy that it is silly to even write about it. It is one of those recipes where you dump everything into a bowl. Stir, season and then eat. Over the past year, I have tweaked measurements as well as those seasonings and made it our version. It has become a summertime classic around Chez Us.
Shall we talk ingredients a bit? I always have a stash of canned beans such as chickpeas and kidney beans as well as pinto or black beans in the pantry for easy to make recipes like this. I also like to use fresh green beans but am having a heck of a time finding them at the market lately, and canned is not an option (I despise canned green beans), so when in a pinch use frozen.
For this recipe I ended up using frozen beans which I blanched for a minute, drained and then patted very dry. That may seem silly to pat the green beans dried, but I like the dressing to stick to all of the ingredients. Do not worry, I won’t have you pat each chickpea and kidney bean dry; instead, drain them in a colander, rinse very well and then let them hang out and air dry for at least 30 minutes. Voila!
Most three bean salads use red wine vinegar but you can also use apple cider vinegar. Like I said you can pretty much go as you like with this recipe. I like to add a small amount of dijon mustard which adds a pleasing richness and makes the dressing slightly creamy. And parsley, lots of parsley. Also a bit of fresh thyme as well as dill brighten up this recipe.
This salad pairs well with grilled meats and fish as well it is really great in a bowl by itself.
Hope you enjoy!
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More Classic Summer Salads:
- 15 ounces chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
- 15 ounces red kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
- 15 ounces fresh or frozen green beans (see note below)
- 4 tablespoons shallot, finely minced
- 1 ounce fresh parsley, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh dill, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
- fresh cracked black pepper
Blanch the green beans:
Bring a large pot of water to boil, season with 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Add the green beans - if using fresh, blanch for 3 minutes. If using frozen, blanch for 1 minute.
Pour into a colander and immediately rinse with very cold water. Let drain for 15 minutes, then scatter over paper towels to dry for 30 minutes.
Be sure to rinse the other beans well, and then let air dry in a colander at least for 15 minutes.
Making the Salad:
Place all ingredients except the beans into a large bowl and gently whisk to combine.
Add the beans, season with some black pepper and gently stir to combine the flavors.
Let sit about 30 minutes so the flavors mingle.
If you cannot find fresh green beans then use frozen and blanch before making the salad. Be sure to let the beans air dry a bit as the dressing will stick to them and the salad will not be watered down.