Hello everyone, welcome to Djalali Cooks. I am kicking this week off with a Summer Bean Salad that is perfect for any cookout, potluck, or a plain ol’ summer Monday. Eat it as a salad, put it on toast! I had a vision of topping a hot dog or Bratwurst with this Summer Bean Salad. Is that weird? Regardless, this salad is a spin on the classic three bean salad; with two kinds of beans, cucumber, celery, tomato, red onion and a savory sweet dressing. Let’s get right to it!
Summer Bean Salad
Drain and rinse the beans, I have cannellini beans and garbanzo beans. I am using white beans because I want the overall color palette of this salad to be cool, you can sub in whatever beans you like best. For this salad, I want all the pieces to be roughly the same size, so you can get bits of each ingredient in every bite. So I have diced everything to be about the size of the beans. To take some of the bite out of the raw onion, I diced them and then soaked the red onion pieces in cold water for about 5 minutes, then drained.
For the tomatoes, I am using Lemon Boys because again, I like the bright yellow color to keep this salad looking light and summery. I quartered the tomato and removed the seeds, then diced the flesh. Not pictured is about 1/4 cup of finely chopped flat leaf parsley. Combine all the diced veggies with the beans in a large mixing bowl. Now we will move on to the dressing.
The Savory Sweet Dressing
This dressing is a classic three bean salad dressing. We have apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper. It’s that simple. Combine all the ingredients in a jar, twist on the lid and shake until its well-emulsified.
Pour the whole jar of dressing over the salad and mix well. At this point, if you want to have the spicy component, add a good pinch of red pepper flakes. Add the chopped parsley, and mix everything together, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a few hours to let the salad marinate in the dressing before serving.
I prefer to pour the salad into a zipper lock bag. This way, if it’s laying flat, more of the salad has contact with the dressing and it takes up less space in the fridge. Plus if you’re taking this salad to a potluck, it’s easier to transport it in the zipper lock bag and pour it into a serving dish at your destination.
This salad gets better the longer it marinates in the dressing. So make this Summer Bean Salad at least three hours before service. When ready to serve, pour salad into a serving bowl and taste for seasoning; add more salt, pepper or red pepper flakes if needed.
Summer Bean Salad
The dressing is sweet and savory. It’s fresh and light. I really like the red pepper flakes in this to play off of the sweet dressing; the spice adds a layer of flavor giving the whole salad more complexity. Dicing everything to size of the beans gives the variety of textures a chance to shine. Super crunchy celery; lightly crunchy, cool cucumber, soft tomato; a gentle bite from the onion and the creamy, soft beans. And look at the colors! So beautiful!
Please do make this Summer Bean Salad! It’s such a cool and refreshing dish for a hot August evening. Get your protein and veggies in one dish that’s easy, quick and will keep well in the fridge for days. I have another salad that is perfect for summer: Esquites – Mexican Corn Salad. Pin this recipe and follow me on Pinterest, to have all the Djalali Cooks recipes collected in one convenient spot. Take care and be well, xo Kelly
Summer Bean Salad
Sweet, savory, spicy; this Summer Bean Salad has all the summer flavors and a satisfying variety of textures. Perfect for a summer potluck!
- 1 can Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed
- 4-6 Celery Ribs, trimmed and diced to the size of a bean
- 1/2 large English Cucumber, diced to the size of a bean
- 1/2 small to medium Red Onion, diced to the size of a bean (soak cut onion in cold water for 5 minutes to reduce the harshness, if desired)
- 1 large Tomato, seeds removed and flesh diced to the size of a bean
- 1/4 cup Finely Chopped Parsley
- 1/2-1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes, optional
- 1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
- 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1.5 tsp Kosher Salt, more to taste
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper, more to taste
Combine the beans, celery, onion, tomato, cucumber in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar, twist on the lid and shake until emulsified.
Pour the entire jar of dressing on the salad and toss to combine. Add the parsley and the red pepper flakes (if using) and toss again to combine.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or pour salad into a zipper lock bag and lay flat in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
Pour salad in a serving bowl and taste for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes if needed.