I have to admit to a new salad addiction. I don’t know if it’s more a case of needing different textures or wanting something simple that I can use to adapt to different flavors as desired. But for me, this is the simple thing to keep in my fridge and pull out some to build a new salad or add to soup or polenta. Even simpler, it’s all canned. I still need to try the green beans as fresh, but it has worked nicely so far. All the beans are ones I regularly keep on my shelf for cooking anyway because those are the ones that I find the most use or munches for. Mixing them together this way ended up being a guaranteed win. I’m pretty sure that a different mix of beans would work if you wanted a different texture or flavor.
Growing up, I never had bean salad. For family functions, I don’t remember it ever being offered. Of course, according to the majority of my family, the only place a bean is worth eating is when it’s a side of baked beans from a can. At school, I know I would have turned it down and I don’t think it is offered anywhere these days. It was a situation of too unusual of a food. Yet, this is a recipe so many people would have kept in their recipe files and taken to picnics. I was first introduced to it at a previous job and was completely revolted by the smell from opening the vacuum sealed bag. I could not see why someone would want this coagulated blob of beans and veggies. Seeing it out in a bowl in a deli department sends me to the same sense of shuddering and nausea. But, this is different.
This ended up being a discovery from the points of needing to use up a vinaigrette I had made for a different salad and wanting to figure some easy ways to add some sides to my meals. I wanted to have a “salad” and knew that I would be lazy too often to want to pack a green salad every night. The thought of either having all these dishes to wash the next morning and having to make seperate containers for my greens and my dressing because I wanted sharp bites instead of wilted from macerated in dressing for hours salad. So, I swallowed my revulsion of the remembered vision and decided to make one of my own. Best thought: face fear head on.
My main tip is that you rinse the beans very well. Normally, I rinse each can a minimum of four times. An easy way, keep the lid and top the can with it after you fill the drained of juices can with water so it can be shaken. Once you do that, you can also use it to strain out the water until your water comes out as clear and thin as it went in from your faucet or bottle. Because I do understand some people’s desire to not ever use tap water. This way, if it’s cheaper to get full salted canned veggies, you can get as much salt off as possible. At the same time, keep an eye out for sales to get the no salt added veggies or the fancier salt canned ones. They usually go on sale the same as the rest, but that really depends on the store you shop at.
1 C Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)(Mine were from Goya this time, but can be from any brand)
1 C Black beans (Mine were store brand, so yeah)
1 C Dark Red Kidney beans (Mine were another store’s brand)
1/2 C canned Green beans
Vinaigrette (Recipe after)
Rinse all beans until clean from canning liquids. Place vinaigrette in bottom of bowl. Top with the beans and green beans. Mix to coat all beans. Enjoy.
2 Tbs Rice Vinegar
1 Tbs plus 2 tsp Orange juice
1 tsp Lemon juice
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp Cranberry relish
Olive Oil (mine had Truffle flavoring included in it because it was on sale for $2.99)
Mix together the first five ingredients. While still stirring, add enough olive oil to emulsify into your desired thickness for a salad dressing.