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We ate a lot of Three Bean Salad when I was a kid.  During the summer, my mother made it frequently.  I think it was because we all liked it, it made a huge batch and it kept well.  All that, and we had almost everything growing in the garden.  I started with her recipe, then took a flying leap!  This is all about green beans and much less about the usual legume-type beans.  I tossed other things in, but the vinaigrette is all hers…well, except for the Sherry vinegar.  She might have used that, but we knew nothing about such a wonder.  Mother always used apple cider vinegar.  We never, ever cooked with white vinegar.  That was for cleaning and I still follow that thought.  Anyway, she always added some mustard.  She used dry mustard, but I use Dijon.  We didn’t know about Dijon mustard yet; either works well.

This is a sweet and sour vinaigrette.  I make it sweeter, because The Spicy Honey prefers it that way.  But, I’m giving you the amount for a “normal” vinaigrette.  If you want it sweeter, increase the sugar or add honey, to taste.  Both are good options.

I prefer to blanch fresh green beans.  To do that, you simple plunge them into boiling water, cook until they reach the doneness you prefer; for me it’s at about the 4-5 minute mark.  Then, remove the beans and plunge them into heavily iced water.  This stops the cooking process and sets that nice bright green color. Drain them well before using.  In general, blanching beans (or broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc.) is a good idea when you purchase green beans and realize you’re not going to use them for a couple of days.  They will keep maturing, unless you blanch them.  Then, d, wrap them in paper toweling or a towel, place them in a food storage bag and refrigerate until needed.  They will keep at least 3 or 4 days this way.  Then just reheat them or use as desired.

For the salad, place all the salad ingredients in a bowl.  Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Now shake the jar like crazy, for at least 30 seconds.  Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, give everything a good stir and then taste.  If you want a sweeter salad, drizzle some honey over the salad and re-stir.  Cover and chill for at least a couple of hours, or overnight.  My mother always made the vinaigrette the day before she was going to use it.  I think it was because she wanted the sugar to be dissolved, but I don’t find that to be an issue.  Stir before serving.  You can add minced parsley or fresh basil, but I still prefer this salad just like like it is.  This a great salad to tote places.  I think you’ll like this version of bean salad.

Green Bean Salad with Sweet Sherry Vinegar-Mustard Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy Enough
  • Print

  • 1 1/2 cups green beans, blanched and cooled (about 1 great big handful)
  • 1 can (15-ounce) Tri-Bean Blend® beans, rinsed and drained (see NOTE)
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red or Vidalia onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced bell pepper
  • 3 radishes, diced
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • Sweet Sherry-Mustard Vinaigrette:
  • 6 tablespoons cane sugar (more or less, as desired)
  • 1/3 cup Sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil, toasted pistachio oil or good olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Drain the green beans very well.  Cut across into about 3/4-inch pieces.  Place in a bowl, with the drained legumes, onions, bell peppers, celery, and radishes.  Toss to combine.

In a jar, with a tight fitting lid, place all the vinaigrette ingredients.  Cover and shake like crazy for at least 30 seconds.  Pour over the salad; stir until the dressing coats the veggies thoroughly.  Taste and if too sharp, add some honey and re-stir.  You may also need to add additional salt.  This will pull as the salad sits.  Cover and chill for several hours.  This will keep, in the fridge, for at least a week.

NOTE:  For the green beans, use 2 15-ounce cans (well-drained), instead of fresh (but fresh is better), blanched green beans; do not use frozen (too watery and mushy).  Most supermarkets have a “tri-bean blend” of legume-type beans.  If not, or if you prefer, substitute 1 can kidney, black, cannelini beans, etc., instead.  You may add finely minced fresh parsley, if you wish.  This vinaigrette is darned good on any salad and feel free to double or triple the recipe.

Green Bean Salad with Sweet Sherry Vinegar-Mustard Vinaigrette Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2019.  All rights reserved.