You may have seen this bean salad paired with my Lemon Garlic Wings recipe post. It is from a recipe notebook I began in 1983 and I did not indicate the source, so it may have come from a friend or family.

Technically, how original can a bean salad recipe be? Google 'bean salad' and you get over 7.5 million results. On my blog I have already shared a Corn, Black Bean, Tomato Salad and Black-eyed Peas with Peaches.

Despite the preponderance of combinations, this bean combo has persisted, and something like it can still be seen at many salad bars. You can get creative with variations (see Notes), but I often prefer the "taste memory" of this salad - even though I suspect the taste memory has something to do with sugar... (And boy some of the old recipes for this were loaded with sugar!)

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Even a bit of sugar does not negate the tremendous benefits of eating beans which are formally referred to as "pulses" - a sub-set of the legume family. "Pulses are very high in protein and fiber, and are low in fat." [Source] Depending on your eating habits, you may forget to include beans in your diet. Consider taking the Pulse Pledge - and get 10 weeks of email tips on how to enjoy this food group.

It shouldn't be surprising that 34 years ago there was less emphasis on fresh produce. Decades ago, this was a recipe of "canned goods". Not to say that's terrible, but with Fall markets bursting with fresh green and yellow wax beans, I'd rather those ingredients be fresh, than from a can. This will taste better after it sits for a bit and should last for several days in the fridge.

1 (drained) can each of:

  • yellow wax beans (or fresh - see below)
  • green beans
  • Lima beans
  • red kidney beans

1 green pepper - seeded and cut into small pieces
1 onion chopped

As mentioned above, especially during harvest season, I buy fresh wax beans at the market, cut them into 1-1.5" pieces and steam them to desired done-ness, or cook them in salted water for about 3 minutes. Combine all of the above.

1/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt

1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Mix together the sugar, mustard and salt.

Add the vinegar and oil, and whisk or shake in a jar to combine. Pour over bean combo and let flavours combine for about an hour.

Notes and Tips...

  • Beans in a can - these can vary in quality. PC Blue Menu beans have no added salt - and they even sell a "Six Bean Medley" that would work well with this salad.
  • Bean variations - obviously, you can change up the mixture - use chick peas, black beans, etc. etc. etc.
  • Red kidney beans - in case you're thinking you'll make this totally from scratch using dry beans and cooking them... do note that red kidney beans have toxicity issues if not properly cooked. [Details] Maybe best to use red kidney beans from a can.
  • Other Variations - Dijon instead of dry mustard; lemon juice instead of vinegar - or some fancy vinegar or even cider vinegar; yellow or red pepper instead of green; red onion; and add other spices - cumin, coriander etc. Again... some of these variations, while fun and tasty, take the dish away from that taste memory i am aiming for.
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