Modern three-bean salad

(Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe)
September 15, 2010

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Serves 4

Once the result of several cans of beans tossed with sugar and vinegar, three-bean salad has been updated. For ease, keep at least one can in the mix (kidney beans) and toss in your favorite variety of frozen beans (such as limas). Blanched green beans add freshness, limas and kidneys protein, bell pepper and red onion some crunch. Instead of cilantro, substitute dill or parsley, if you like. Add chopped smoked salmon for a more substantial dish, and move the salad from the side table to the main course.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can (15 ounces) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 package (10 ounces) frozen lima beans, rinsed with cold water
1 green bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the ground cumin and red kidney beans. Stir well for 1 minute. When they are hot, stir in vinegar.

2. Stir in limas beans. Cook for 1 minute more.

3. In a large bowl, combine bell pepper, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add kidney bean mixture. Toss gently and set aside for 30 minutes or until cool.

4. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook for 3 minutes, or until tender but still have some bite. Drain and rinse with cold water until the beans are no longer hot. Pat them dry with paper towels.

5. Add the green beans and cilantro to the kidney bean mixture. Toss well. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

Karoline Boehm Goodnick