Tart and hearty, this filling bean salad makes a colorful companion to simple grilled chicken, whether served at home or at a summertime picnic. Cook each variety of bean separately to ensure optimum texture and to maintain the color.
Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Chicken for Dinner, by Heidi Haughy Cusick (Time-Life Books, 1998).
- 1/2 cup dried red beans, such as kidney
- 1/2 cup dried cannellini or Great Northern beans
- 1/2 cup dried black beans
- 1 cup corn kernels (cut from about 2 ears)
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 whole red bell pepper, or 1/2 each red bell pepper and green bell pepper, seeded and
- 1/3 cup canola or safflower oil
- 1/4 cup tomato salsa
- 2 to 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 Pick over each variety of bean and discard any misshapen beans and stones. Rinse each variety separately and drain. Place in separate bowls, add plenty of water to cover and let stand for 3 hours.
- 2 Drain and place each variety in a saucepan with water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 45 minutes for red beans, about 50 minutes for cannellini or Great Northern, and about 60 minutes for black beans. The cooking times will depend on the type and age of the beans. Drain, rinse and let cool.
- 3 Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan two-thirds full of water to a boil over high heat. Add the corn kernels and blanch for about 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold running water to halt the cooking and drain again.
- 4 In a bowl, combine all the beans with the corn, green onions and bell pepper. Mix well.
- 5 In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, salsa, vinegar, to taste, garlic and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the bean mixture and stir to mix. Let stand for at least 30 minutes or for up to 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend.
- 6 Just before serving, garnish with the cilantro.