Feeling the need for something bright and cololourful brought on by a welcome dose of spring sunshine at the weekend, I decided to make my three bean salad. It’s deliciously crunchy and healthy with plenty of texture and bite and generously coated in a fresh, zesty dressing with a sprinkling of fresh herbs. This is the basic mix, but feel free to add some tinned tuna and maybe the odd black olive.
1 head celery
1 sweet long red pepper
100g dried cannellini beans
100g dried kidney beans
250g green beans
2 red chillies (or generous dash cayenne pepper)
2 cloves garlic
150ml extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon or 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
1 large handful fresh herbs (parsley, basil, dill or coriander)
Chopping board and sharp knife
3 litre saucepan
3 large bowls
Here’s What you Do:
Soak the cannellini and kidney beans separately for 24 hours in two of the bowls filled with plenty of cold water.
Drain, rinse and put the cannellini beans on to boil. They take slightly longer to cook so start them off first. After 15 minutes add the rinsed kidney beans and continue to boil gently for 35 minutes.
Next, chop the green beans into thirds and add to the boiling beans and cook for a further 3 minutes. Drain all the beans into a large colander and place under a cold running tap to help them cool.
Finely chop the garlic, shallots and chillies and tip into a large mixing bowl.
Add the Dijon mustard and either the juice of 1 lemon or 2½tbsp balsamic vinegar. Mix together well. Slowly add the olive oil until you form an emulsion. Season well with salt and pepper.
Finely slice the celery and sweet red pepper and tip onto the dressing, next add the drained beans and mix everything well.
Lastly, chop a handful of fresh herbs and sprinkle over the top before serving.