Retro Classic Bean Salad

 

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Bean salad is so simple anyone can make it. But there is a secret to making it great.

green and yellow runner beans

green and yellow runner beans

 

The combination of fresh, crunchy green and yellow runner beans coupled with creamy, nutty cannellini beans, kidney beans, chickpeas and so forth has been delighting diners since the early nineteenth century and shows no signs of slowing down. It’s important to keep things simple here; in addition to the mix of fresh runner beans and canned beans (a can of bean medley does the trick) all you really need to add is a little chopped red or white onion, some red bell pepper and a tangy vinaigrette. And while we’re on the subject of opening a can of beans, do you know that there’s a debate raging these days concerning the proper way to open a can? Apparently there are two ways to use the ol’ Swing-A-Way: with the cutting blade vertical, cutting the top of the can, or with the cutting blade horizontal, and cutting the top of the side of the can. The advantage to the latter method is that the can’s lid is held fast by the can opener and you don’t have to go messing around in the can to retrieve it. Who knew? And here’s another tip; don’t forget to save all that aqua-faba that the beans are packed in, it’s an amazing egg substitute!

 

boom!

boom!

 

But there is a secret to this dish and it just won’t work without it.

Can you guess what it might be? Fresh herbs are great, and feel free to toss some in. But the salad will be okay with or without them.

What could it be?

After many attempts to recreate the taste of grandma’s classic bean salad, the answer came in a flash. Sweetness!

A spoonful of honey mixed into the vinaigrette is all you need to take the humble bean salad to the highest heights of gastronomy. Make it in advance and serve cold.

 

 

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