Another hot summer day—another cold summer salad! This green bean salad which I make whenever I find good-looking fresh green beans on sale is a family favorite. I never buy less than three pounds at a time because it goes fast in our house.
During the Great Depression, my father quit school at an early age to go to work to help the family selling fresh fruit and vegetables. When my sisters and I were kids, he would always tell us what part of the country the vegetables we were eating came from. With the advances in the distribution and refrigerated transportation of fruit and vegetables today, he would have been hard pressed to name what country they came from now!
Back then, we would have fresh green beans with garlic, oil and vinegar, and some salt and pepper. Through the years, I have added to the green bean salad with kidney beans, green onions, and parsley. When I can find fresh wax beans, I incorporate those as well; and it becomes more of a traditional three-bean salad.
These beans make a terrific accompaniment for anything you can cook on a grill—steak, hamburgers, chicken, or fish. It’s great as a side dish for barbecues because you don’t have to worry about any mayonnaise in it spoiling. I also enjoy adding a few spoonfuls to regular green salad to jazz it up.
Ignore the darker, dried up green beans some supermarkets try to pawn off on shoppers, find yourself some nice plump green beans, and make this salad!
Green Bean Salad
- 3 lbs. fresh green beans (or 1-1/2 lbs. each: green beans and wax beans)
- 1 15- or 16-oz. can red kidney beans, light or dark, drained and rinsed
- 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 or 4 green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups of your favorite Italian vinaigrette (I like Good Seasons Zesty Italian)
Trim the ends from the beans and cut in half or thirds depending on size of beans. Wash beans and place in pot large enough to hold them. Add a couple of inches of water to the pot (it’s not necessary to totally cover the beans) and bring to a boil. After it comes to a boil, lower the heat, cover the beans, and simmer until tender. When beans are cooked to your preferred tenderness, drain water and dump beans into a large bowl. I usually add salt to the beans at this point before I add any dressing. Use a wooden spoon to gently toss the beans to prevent breaking them.
Add kidney beans, minced garlic, green onions, parsley, and enough dressing to cover beans and suit your personal taste. Once again, toss gently, so that ingredients and dressing are well distributed throughout beans.
Source: A frantastic original