BBQs are the hit of the summer season. What to bring when someone invites you?
Well, your dish needs to be seasonal, tasty and something that can sit outside for a bit without perishing in the heat (so not dairy). Bonus points if you can make it ahead and double bonus points if it’s inexpensive to fix.
Bean salad is the order of the day! The classic is a three bean salad, but why not more than three?
I grew up on jarred three bean salad and absolutely loved it since it’s a cross between a pickle and a salad (and I have never met a pickle I didn’t like). Add beans to pickles and you up the health factor.
Combining the crisp texture of lightly cooked green beans with the creaminess of a white or red kidney bean, and the crunch of sweet corn, along with a hit of mustard (salty), honey and vinegar, is a winning combination. This salad also pairs well with all of the usual offerings at a summer BBQ as it gives welcome freshness and textural relief to the grilled meaty burgers, hot dogs and chicken.
I had this salad for dinner last night, alongside some baked fish, and it was so delicious that before I knew it, I had consumed half of the total recipe (1 ½ cups). Which is not a bad thing because it’s a super- healthy recipe that just tastes sooo good! Also, it is pretty easy to make and is bright and colorful.
So when the next person asks you to an outdoor party, you are good to go with a great fix-it-and-carry dish! Feel free to double or triple the recipe. Happy summer!
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Four Bean Salad
Makes 3 cups
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped shallot
2 ounces green beans
2 ounces yellow wax beans
1/2 cup shelled edamame, thawed if frozen
1 cup rinsed and drained canned black beans
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon or basil or chives
- Whisk together vinegar, mustard and honey in a serving bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified and combined well. Season with salt and pepper and stir in shallot. Let stand 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, blanch the green and yellow beans. To blanch, drop the beans in a pot of boiling water and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl filled with ice and cold water to cool quickly. When cool, drain beans, pat dry and coarsely shop. You should have about ½ cup of each bean variety.
- To the serving bowl add blanched beans, edamame, black beans, corn and herbs; combine well. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
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