Isn’t this a gorgeous salad?
It really makes you want to eat your vegies when a salad looks as beautiful as this one and tastes great too!
Four Bean is a classic salad that you will find at most deli counters, but it doesn’t usually taste this bright and fresh.
In my version, I use canned garbanzo, yellow wax and kidney beans. I cook my green beans fresh so that they will add texture and crunch as well as a more vibrant green color than canned green beans.
One thing that I have found about canned beans is that you should use the cans up within 6 months of purchase. After 6 months, the bean texture starts to deteriorate and the beans actually start to pick up a metallic flavor from the can.
Every time I buy any packaged food in a can or jar or whatever, I write the purchase date on the container with a Sharpie pen. If it is something in a jar, like capers and I don’t use the whole jar, I write the purchase date (I just use a “p” and the date) and then I also write “o” and the date I opened it.
It is a lot better to do that then to wonder when you bought something, or to find something buried in your fridge and have no idea when it was opened!
Ok, back to the Bean Salad! I use tarragon vinegar and also fresh tarragon in this dressing, along with apple juice to balance the acid and give it a nice flavor. You could also use basil in place of the tarragon if you prefer, and just use rice vinegar in place of the tarragon vinegar. It’s up to you!
Steam, then blanch green beans:
1- 1/4 pounds fresh green beans, cut into pieces (3 cups cut up)
When beans are drained and cool, place in large bowl.
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can yellow wax beans, drained
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups red onions, quartered and sliced thin (if they are “hot” I saute mine for just a minute or so in a little bit of water. Rinse and drain before adding to salad)
1 cup red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 cup parsley, chopped pretty fine
Blend all ingredients together:
1 teaspoon shallot or onion (saute 1st if “hot”)
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
1/4 cup apple juice (I buy the little 5.5 oz cans to keep on hand)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 Tblsp fresh tarragon, chopped
2-3 teaspoons sugar (try 2 teaspoons first then taste after blending)
dash of cayenne pepper
Makes about 1 cup
Pour dressing on salad and stir to mix everything up. If you have extra dressing, it is great on any other salad too.