How is it that so many great potluck dishes rely on canned vegetables? Maybe it's because they're dashed together before church or an afternoon gathering? No matter.
Making a three-bean salad with fresh beans -- here, with a mix of yellow and green, isn't it pretty?! -- does take longer but the outcome is, well, praise-worthy. In fact, it wouldn't take much longer to double the recipe, which is what I'll do next time, this is so good.
The recipe inspiration came from a Cook's Illustrated e-mail. I've lightened it considerably, dropping the oil from 8 tablespoons to 2 tablespoons, the sugar from 3/4 cup to 1/4 cup. These changes really make the salad all about the beans -- and isn't that the point? the recipe name isn't "Oil and Sugar Salad", after all. I questioned the introduction of parsley but in the end, glad I kept it in, for it adds new dimensions of flavor and freshness.
WISH I'D THOUGHT OF THIS This recipe would be great with Splenda -- and might satisfy those who like three-bean salad slightly sweeter.
WHO KNEW? that the standard green bean salad has four Weight Watchers points per serving?! That's awful!!
FRESH THREE-BEAN SALAD
Time to table: 50 minutes or 24 hours
Makes 5 cups
3 quarts water
1 tablespoon table salt
8 ounces green beans, ends snapped, snapped or cut into one-inch pieces
8 ounces yellow beans, same
1 16-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 a red onion, diced small
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Bring the water to a boil. [To be most efficient time-wise, prepare the liquid now, before continuing with the beans.] Add the salt and the beans, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender-crisp. While the beans cook, fill a large bowl with ice water, using more ice than water. When the beans are done, drain them in a colander, then plunge the colander into the ice water, fully covering the beans by swishing them around if needed. When the beans are cool, remove from the ice water. Give the colander a good shake to remove lots of the water. Let drain for at least 10 minutes and more if needed.
In a large bowl, mix the cooked green beans, onion and parsley. Pour liquid over vegetables and stir well to coat. Transfer to storage dish and refrigerate for 24 hours.
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar (reduced from 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons olive oil (reduced from 1/2 cup canola oil)
1 teaspoon table salt
Several turns freshly ground black pepper
In a small saucepan, bring the ingredients to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
BEST TIME TO SERVE? The inspiring recipe specifies serving the salad the next day -- and it's definitely more like a traditional (canned bean) three-bean salad that way, sort of pickly. I preferred it served right away though didn't object to it, in the least, the next day.
~ fresh green bean salad with Asian dressing ~
~ garlicky romano beans ~
~ green beans with lemon & pine nuts ~
~ more green bean recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Eggplant & Bean Thai Curry ~
~ Make-Ahead Fresh Green Bean Casserole ~
~ more green bean recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade