Lovin’ Fresh: Three Bean Salad

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Lovin’ Fresh is a series of recipes designed to showcase produce gathered from local farms or grown in my own garden.

Today’s recipe is a fresh, healthy, and quite seasonal.  Truth be told, it’s not terribly creative as I’m sure you’ve all had some form of Three Bean Salad at a family reunion or other summer potluck dinner.  However, after perusing many a recipe for this dish, I feel fairly confident that mine is the only one that actually uses just three kinds of beans!  Most had at least five, some even had more!  It got me thinking.  Why the heck are they all called three bean salads then?   Do you know?

Three Bean Salad Served

I chose to stick with just three types of beans in my salad because I wanted to use up as many of the green beans I picked from my garden as possible. (That and I consider myself to be an honest recipe writer.)  Using so many fresh beans kept this salad’s flavor summery and light.

This salad was actually made over the weekend.  I waited to post it because I wanted to test out the notion that numeric bean salads always taste better after a few days in the fridge.  Having just had a bowl here for dinner last evening, I can safely say I concur!  Although it’s not bad at all right after you toss it together.


You might notice I call for a dash of rose water in the recipe.  I was looking for a faint floral note when I put it in the salad.  The day I made the salad, I found it just a tad over powering of the other flavors.  Today though, it’s the perfect accent now that tangy, sweet, salty, and floral have all decided to hold hands and play nicely together.

True Three Bean Salad

2 C. chopped fresh green beans
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can white or red kidney beans, drained
1 small red onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1/4 C. red wine vinegar
1/4 C. white sugar
1/4 C. vegetable oil
1/4 t. rose water (optional)
1/4 t. ground dry mustard
1/4 t. dried marjoram
1/2 t. dried or fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water up to a boil.  Add the fresh green beans and cook for five minutes.  Drain and rinse in cold water.  Drain again.

In a large bowl, combine all three beans, onion and green pepper. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, sugar, oil, mustard, marjoram and cilantro.  Pour over bean mixture. Stir until all ingredients are coated. Let the salad marinate in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, stirring occasionally.   Serve chilled or at room temperature.

(serves 6)

Three Bean Salad

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