Bean Salad

People usually talk about bumper crops of zucchini or tomatoes, but I may have overdone it with beans in this year’s garden. We have a glut of a variety of string beans that should last nearly up until frost as I did three different plantings. Good thing we like them.

A batch of dilly beans and I’m done with the preserving. We never seem to eat up the canned or frozen string beans so keeping ahead of the bounty is hard to do. That’s why we’ve been eating a lot of bean salad- also it is a good hot weather addition to any meal. I started by just adding leftover cooked beans to our lunch salads, but things evolved.

The old recipes for bean salad call for three or four kinds of beans - green, wax, lima and any variety of dry bean. Modernization of the recipes adds garbanzo or cannelloni. To the beans, onions, peppers or celery might be added. Finish with a simple dressing of vinegar, oil and sugar plus salt and pepper.

Well, this is my recipe for this summer and it is very popular with Dave-

A couple cups of whatever string bean is “in” the garden. Snap into bite size pieces and blanch (or use leftover cooked beans if not too soft). Add a chopped scallion or two and a little minced garlic plus a chopped real garden tomato and a bunch of slivered fresh basil. Shake on a little hot pepper and dress with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and a similar amount of your favorite vinegar. Add maybe a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar if you must. Let marinate in the fridge for an hour or two. Died and gone to heaven!

You might add the celery, onions, and/or cooked dry beans. Edmane beans are also great. Or change your herbs to fresh thyme or rosemary.

Prefer your beans hot? Blanch the beans. Sauté some onions and garlic in olive oil, add sliced mushrooms and the beans. Spice it up with whatever you prefer. Rosemary or thyme are nice and salt and pepper to taste. Or try fish sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil. Cook until beans are tender but still crisp.