This super-healthful salad with zesty vinaigrette is substantial enough for a main meal, packs beautifully for picnics and cookouts, and is chock-full of phytonutrients and fiber. Fresh dill and parsley give it a totally divine taste, too!
2 cups mixed dried beans (1/4 cup each garbanzo, navy, kidney, pinto, black black-eyed peas, split peas–or whatever beans take your fancy) OR you may use 4 cups canned beans, drained and rinsed
4 quarts water
1/2 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound fresh yellow wax beans, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 scallions, white and green parts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
4 or 5 sprigs fresh dill, coarsely chopped
1/4 white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon organic sugar
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
1. Cover dried beans with water in a large pot and soak overnight if possible, or for several hours. Drain beans and rinse with cold water, then replace them in pot and add 2 quarts water. Over high heat, bring beans to a rapid boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender, about 1 hour. Drain and rinse cooked beans in cold water and place in large bowl to chill in fridge. If using canned beans, simply rinse and drain them and place in bowl to chill in fridge.
2. Place remaining 2 quarts water in a pot and bring to a rapid boil over high heat. Add green and yellow beans, bring back to a boil, and cook 2 minutes or until barely crisp-tender. Drain and plunge beans in ice water so they will stop cooking, then drain again and add to cooked beans.
3. Add scallions, parsley, and dill to bean mixture and stir gently to combine.
4. Make the vinaigrette: place all ingredients except olive oil in a blender or food processor and process for 30 seconds. Add oil with the motor running and blend until dressing is thick and creamy.
5. Pour vinaigrette over bean mixture, then place salad in a pretty serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until ready to serve.
Inspired by Picnic, by DeeDee Stovel (Storey Books, 2001).