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.
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.