I have a deep, undying love for beans of all sorts. Give me hummus, green beans, refried beans, chili, anything… but in particular, give me a bean salad and we will be friends for life.
My favourite recipe came to me via The Joan: Most Amazing Grandmother EVER. One year for Christmas, I had asked for cookbooks, and she went one step further. She contacted all of my family, on both sides, to get their favourite recipes and then compiled them all for me. Seriously, this woman is a saint.
So anyway, on to the salad:
To make it all happen, you’re going to need:
white vinegar (1/4 cup)
- canola oil (1/2 cup)
- dry mustard (1 teaspoon)
- dry thyme (1 teaspoon)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 can each: mixed beans, cut wax beans, cut green beans, black beans
- half a red onion, thinly sliced
- half a pepper (any colour works, I happened to have red), thinly sliced
So, first things first: open up alllll those cans, dump the contents into a collander, and rinse them. Canned beans tend to have a lot of salt on them, so if you want control over how this all tastes, you’re going to want them as bland as possible.
Let them sit in the sink and drain a bit more while you make the dressing; combine vinegar, oil, mustard, thyme, salt, pepper and maybe some garlic powder if you’re feeling frisky (which I was, because garlic makes everything better). Whisk it all together and let it hang out for a bit.
Just to show how the mustard hangs out all together. Whisk that baby up!
Now doesn’t that look better?
So, now that you’ve got a dressing for your tasty beans, slice up some onion and pepper. Make sure to slice them very thinly; big chunks don’t soak up the dressing very well. Also, since the onion is raw, you don’t really want a huge piece surprising you when you take a bite.
That’s about how thin you want your onions and peppers!
So now, take everything and throw it all together. In a perfect world, you would do this in the container you plan on storing it in, but mine was juuuuust big enough, so I threw it in a bowl. Pour the dressing over top of the beans and veggies and stir (if you’re using a bowl), or if you’re smart and threw it all in a tupperware, slap the lid on and shake it around a bit. Let the whole thing sit in the fridge overnight (in the container, obvs), turning it around occasionally.
When you’re done, you’ll have this:
I’m a woman obsessed. The real challenge here is not to eat it right away because it really doesn’t taste nearly as good. Let it sit a day, seriously.
The best thing about this salad is that beans are ridiculously good for you. You can customize what you add (or don’t); The Joan’s recipe actually doesn’t call for black beans, but just a can of kidney and a can of lima, but since I love as much variety as possible, I changed it up. It also calls for celery, which I have a burning hatred for, so that never quite makes it in the bowl. But hey, if you like it, it could probably find a home in your salad. Just keep it away from me, please.
See?! Look how good they are for you! And it tastes good too!
I’m pretty sure every roommate I’ve ever had has been subjected to bean salad taste sessions (as well as the occasional “Try this on! Please?!“), and so far the only person who hasn’t liked it is the Boyfriend. My theory is he’s scared of beans, because everyone likes this. EVERYONE.