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Bean salads are perfect for potlucks, picnics

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It seems that Spring is finally here! What a winter we had; I’m so glad it’s over. In my opinion, there is no more beautiful place than Kentucky in the spring. As I’m sitting on my front porch writing this, my redbud trees are in full bloom, my lilac bush is covered with light purple blossoms, the fields are a brilliant green, and I just love it. This is my favorite time of year, that’s for sure. (I’m a professional porch-sitter, by the way.)
I found a new bean salad recipe in my hometown (Sidell, Ill.) newspaper. Dianna Summers gets the credit for this one. It’s a great summer dish, good for pot-lucks and picnics.
My favorite bean salad of all time is the Mexican Bean Salad in my own cookbook, page 41. It is quite delicious, and makes a great accompaniment to anything cooked on the grill.

Dianna’s Three Bean Salad
1 (15oz) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 (15oz) can kidney beans, drained
1 (15oz) can green beans, drained
4 green onions, chopped
1 large stalk celery, diced
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. cider vinegar
1 T. honey
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. black pepper
In bowl, mix beans, onions and celery. Mix together all other ingredients, and pour over beans.  Refrigerate at least two hours (or overnight) and toss before serving.  Serves six.

Mexican Bean Salad
1 lb. can red kidney beans
1 lb. can pinto beans
1 lb. can garbanzo beans
1 lb. can whole kernel corn, drained
2 large stalks celery, diced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
5 green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t. salt
1 1/2 t. chili powder
1 t. oregano
1/2 t. cumin
1/4 t. pepper
Drain kidney, pinto and garbanzo beans into a colander and rinse under cold water; drain. Turn into large bowl. Add drained corn, celery, and onions and mix well. In separate bowl (or jar) mix vegetable oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, chili powder, oregano, cumin and pepper. Mix well or shake and pour over bean salad. Mix lightly and refrigerate overnight. Stir lightly before serving. Serves eight. (If you have vegans over for dinner, either one of these recipes would be good to serve.)