Fresh Three Bean Salad

by formerchef on August 30, 2010

Post image for Fresh Three Bean Salad

A couple of months ago a friend emailed me and asked what she could do with a case of canned green beans. Never mind why she had a case of canned green beans in the first place, I was stumped. Beyond the typical Thanksgiving green bean casserole (made with condensed soup and topped with canned fried onions), I had no idea because I never eat them. I just don’t like their typically limp and soggy texture.

So while I wasn’t able to help with her quandary, I’d like to share a recipe of what I don’t make with canned green beans, this Fresh Three Bean Salad. Yes, I am using canned kidney and garbanzo beans, and if you have access to fresh, you could use those too, but the quality of the canned ones are usually pretty good and much easier to find. Fresh green beans on the other hand, are almost always available so I’m not sure why people use the canned ones in the traditional three bean salad.

I love the crisp snap of the lightly cooked green beans in this salad, along with the sweetness of the corn and the tangy vinaigrette. This is a perfect side dish to bring along to your Labor Day picnic or BBQ.

PS- I wanted to title this post “Because nobody really likes canned green beans…” but I’m sure some people do, so if you are one of those people, please don’t take offense, tell me why you like them. Or feel free to share with me your favorite fresh picnic salad.

Fresh Three Bean Salad Recipe
Printable Recipe in PDF

10 oz fresh green beans
2 ears fresh corn
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can kidney beans
2 green onions, sliced
2 stalks celery, small diced
1 yellow or red bell pepper, small diced
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced

5 oz extra virgin olive oil
2 oz red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, thyme, basil, oregano, tarragon)*
salt and pepper to taste

Yields 10 cups

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Cook the corn in the water for 5 minutes and then shock in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Cut the kernels off the ears and set aside.

Trim the stem ends off the green beans. Blanch the green beans in the same pot of boiling water for no more than 3 minutes. Drop them in a bowl of ice water to shock them, set the color, and keep them from over cooking. They should be tender-crisp. Cut them into 2″ pieces.

Drain the cans of beans and rinse well. In a large bowl combine the green beans, corn, garbanzo and kidney beans. Add in the diced green onions, celery and bell peppers. Add the shallot and garlic and combine.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and herbs and pour over the salad. Combine gently with a spoon, season with salt and pepper to taste. This can be made a day in advance and holds well in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator about 1/2 an hour before serving.

*These are the herbs in my garden. Use what you have and what you like.

1 Nick (Macheesmo) August 30, 2010 at 7:11 am

What a great fresh salad! After a long weekend of eating good but not exactly healthy food, my body is kind of craving something like this.

2 Kathy August 30, 2010 at 10:45 pm

I use canned green beans when I make my own dog food. Go to the website for Dr. Michael Fox, a holistic vet, and his recipe calls for vegetables, brown rice, and some form of protein (I use ground lamb). My dogs like it when I add green beans, carrots and sweet potatoes. It is so much better for your pets than any store-bought brand of dog food, and you know exactly what they are eating!
The link to Dr. Fox’s dog food recipe:

3 dawn hutchins August 31, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I love beans (especially now that I’ve watched Food Inc. Now I love them even more!) This looks so healthy and tasty!

4 Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen August 31, 2010 at 8:10 pm

This looks so yummy! I love three bean salad!

5 Tania September 3, 2010 at 4:52 am

I jumped over here from Macheesmo – love your blog. This salad looks great, I also know the version where everything comes from a can and without corn, but this looks much better! We usually serve it at what we call a “braai” in South Africa, which is a barbeque.

6 Peggy September 4, 2010 at 7:11 am

This definitely sounds awesome! And I agree with you on the canned green beans… even in the traditional Thanksgiving green bean casserole… I always use fresh green beans and try to even make my own cream of mushroom soup! Definitely is always a winner with the family because I know they can really tell the difference!

7 Maven September 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Oh wow! I LOVE this blog!!!!!!! As a total food blogging newbie wannabe – I have to tell you, this inspires. Looking fprward to getting to know you and feasting my eyes on more.

8 Chez Us September 8, 2010 at 7:26 pm

I, too, would have been stumped. This was one of my favorite dishes, growing up, back where my mother lives. I have been tossing around the idea of making it or re-creating you, you beat me too it, and it looks and sounds amazing. I love the addition of corn!!

9 Jacqueline Church September 8, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Looks fresh and beautiful. I still love the old style sweet and vinegary one we used to have on the salad bar.

10 Sue July 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm

The veggies are good, but I think the dressing had to much oil and was a little bitter,
so, I used a good balsamic vinaigrette instead and that was perfect.

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