3-Bean Salad - a modern take Aunt Suzy says . . .

We love green bean salads in the summer here at S&SK, so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it. Plus, it reminded me of the long forgotten 3-bean salad of my growing up. So long forgotten that I kept wracking my brain as to what the 3rd bean was. I knew it included canned green beans and canned kidney beans, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember the 3rd bean.  So of course I googled it and saw that it was wax beans! So if you want this recipe to look like the classic but taste 21st century, you could make it with green and wax beans (at farmer’s markets up here right now) and kidney beans. 🙂  We served this with potato salad and grilled meats. Yum!

 Bean Salad - Sweet & Savory Kitchens

Margaux says . . .

We loved this recipe!  I’m always looking for new ways to prepare green beans because it is a family favorite.  The flavor in this salad is amazing, with the capers, herbs, shallot and lemon.  I used canned cannellini beans.  I served it with California burgers and corn on the cob…perfect summer weeknight meal.

BEAN SALAD adapted from Bon Appetit


2 cups cooked beans, fresh or dried (such as cannellini, borlotti or cranberry) or 1 14-oz. can cannellini or kidney beans, rinsed
1 pound green beans (or half green and half wax beans), ends trimmed, beans snapped in two
3/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup olive oil
juice of 1/2 or 1 whole lemon, depending on how large
1 small shallot, minced
teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cook the dried or fresh shell beans according to directions. Drain and set aside to cool. Alternatively, open the can, rinse and drain. Cook the green beans (and wax beans if using). Place in steamer, bring water to a boil and steam for 5-6 minutes. Alternatively, cover in water, bring to a boil and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Either way, drain, place back in the pan, cover with cold water and ice to cool down and stop the cooking. Once cool, drain and dry with paper towels.

Place both types of beans in a large bowl. Add the parsley, chives, capers and lemon zest. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, the shallot, the red pepper and salt/black pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and mix thoroughly, best done with your hands.


Aunt Suzy says

This was the first weekend for local green beans and the ones from Untiedt’s are really good.   I got the green beans along with the cherry tomatoes for this recipe from them at the downtown farmers market, but I am also lucky to have one of their neighborhood fruit and vegetable stands within walking distance.   I always anticipate the first local green beans, specifically so I can make this recipe!  It has many layers of flavor that surprise in every bite, even though the ingredient list is short.  This can be served as a main dish salad (quinoa is high in protein) or as a side to roast or grilled chicken.  A dry, fruity French rose wine is the perfect pairing.

A note about the ingredients:  The original recipe called for bulgur instead of quinoa.  I have made and like both, but prefer the quinoa for its milder flavor and texture.  I have almost completely switched from using golden quinoa to red quinoa.  I’m not sure if there is a flavor difference, but I like how it looks!  I have also made this recipe with asparagus and it was just as good as with the green beans.  For a prettier salad, you can use multi-colored cherry and grape tomatoes.  For the roasted almonds make sure that you get roasted and salted (unless you have to limit your salt intake).  Trader Joe’s has a product called Tangy and Spicy Dry Roasted Almonds, which have cayenne pepper and lemon added.  If you want to add a little zip to the dish, use these! (July 2013 update:  TJ no longer carries those almonds – sigh.)

1 cup red or golden quinoa, rinsed well

1 1/2 cups water

1 pound thin green beans, trimmed and snapped in half

1/3 cup EV olive oil

juice of 1/2 to one lemon, depending on how juicy

salt and pepper to taste

1 pint cherry tomatoes (2 cups), sliced in half

1/2 cup roasted salted almonds, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely shredded

Place the rinsed quinoa in a saucepan and add the water.  Make sure you rinse or else the quinoa will be bitter when cooked.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff and turn into a large bowl to cool.

Wash the green beans.  Place in a steamer, bring the water to a boil and steam for 5 minutes or until just done.  Alternatively, you can cook the beans directly in boiling water for 5 minutes until just done.  Either way, when done, plunge into ice water to stop the cooking.  Drain and then pat dry in a towel.  When both the beans and the quinoa are mostly cool, combine in the large bowl.

Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper together.  Pour over the quinoa/green bean mixture.  You can make this up to a day ahead.  Prior to serving add the tomatoes, mint and almonds.  Toss to combine thoroughly.  Use some small mint leaves for garnish.  Serve at room temperature.