|August 18, 2011||Posted by Cheeks under Recipe, Salads|
AKA, Five Bean Salad; Marinated Bean Salad; or, for those into the whole brevity thing, Bean Salad.
It’s a straightforward salad of vinegary, tangy beans, briney olives and sharp onion that combine into a fresh & refreshing, protein-packed and low-fat side dish worthy of any barbecue around. Its tartness is the perfect counterpoint to rich, fatty grilled meats and sausages. There are versions of it sitting in every deli case across middle America. But, please, homemade is always best – and likely cheapest and healthiest too.
First of all, let’s talk about oil. I’m of the mindset that you don’t need a lot of oil to make a good vinaigrette dressing. That 3-to1 ratio of oil to vinegar that many swear by seems, to me, just entireily too much oil. I get that it’s rich and silky, that it carries flavor in it to all parts of the dish – but it’s also greasy at worst, heavy on the tongue at best, and full of calories. I prefer many salads to be crispy and lighter, instead of weighed down by oils.
A Tablespoon or two of oil is usually more than enough for the biggest bowl of salad in my house – but to each their own. I can probably get by with so little oil because, well, I love vinegar. I love it. I drown steamed veggies in it; I eat pickles like candy. I soak french fries in malt vinegar and broccoli in red wine vinegar. Strawberries or watermelon and balsamic? Oh, yes, please.
Which is why I like this salad even more on day 2, 3 and 4, when the vinegary dressing has time to really penetrate the beans and quick-pickle them. It becomes almost like a relish – a great side dish to a rich grilled sausage or heavier. Since I like that sour, tart tang more than the average person, you may want to adjust the ratio in the recipe below to suit your own taste. Or, try adding another teaspoon of sugar to take the vinegary edge off, instead of adding more oil.
Either way, try it out.
Three Bean Salad
Those paying attention to the photos see that this is supposed to be FIVE bean salad, and that I played with the dressing ratios a bit. Why three beans? Well…I didn’t have green or wax beans, fresh or canned, so I left them out. But feel more than free to add them in, experiment, etc. That’s the fun of cooking!
- 1 cup frozen lima beans, thawed
- 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained (great northern or cannelini)
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 3 Tbsp chopped olives (kalamata, green, black or a combination)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper