BOUNTIFUL ITALIAN BEAN SALAD

Three bean salads are a popular side dish in the summer and here is a heartier version with a Middle Eastern twist in flavor. And because beans contain a lot of protein you can have less or no meat at a meal with this salad.
 
This recipe calls for Haricots verts (slender French green beans) but if they are not available the regular ones at the market will do.

Four bean salad

 
BOUNTIFUL ITALIAN BEAN SALAD

Ingredients:
1.5 cups           haricots verts (slender French green beans),trimmed and cut in half
1.5 cups           wax beans, trimmed and cut in halves or thirds
1.5 cups           cooked chickpeas, or 1 can (14 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed.
1.5 cups           cooked kidney beans, or 1 can (14 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed
1                       roasted red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup            chopped scallion greens or minced parsley

Dressing:
2 Tbs    fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs    fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp  finely minced garlic
1 tsp     ground cumin
1/4 tsp  red pepper flakes
1 Tbs    olive oil
1/2 tsp  salt, or more to taste
pepper

Directions:
Steam the green and wax beans separately until just crisp-tender, about 4 or 5 minutes for green beans; a little longer for the wax beans. Immediately run them under cold water to stop the cooking. In a large bowl, combine the green beans and wax beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, roasted pepper and scallions or parsley.

To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon and lime juices, garlic cumin, red pepper flakes, oil, salt and pepper to taste.

This salad tastes best at room temperature, on the day it’s made. When ready to serve, dress only the amount of salad you think will be eaten that day. If it sits out for a while or is stored in the refrigerator, perk it up with more citrus juice. Store remaining salad and dressing separately, covered, in the refrigerator.

Tips:
If you like your salads with a little more spice and bite, I recommend substituting cilantro for the parsley and minced onion vs. the scallion greens.

To make this an even heartier meal, serve over a bed of fresh greens, add some brown rice then top with the bean salad. It is very filling, nutritious and packed with protein.

Source: Raising the Salad Bar by Catherine Walthers

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