Midweek Delicacy Time: Three Bean Salad

Three Bean Salad

This past weekend while visiting friends in Austin, TX, a friend of mine claimed she had never had a three bean salad she really liked.  Another friend was avoiding sugar, a key ingredient for the dressing in traditional three bean salads. I felt a challenge coming on.

I thought about the textures of the beans normally used in a three bean salad and decided to swap out a couple of the beans. Fava beans have a wonderful texture and absorb flavors very easily. Chickpeas also have a good texture and have a delicious nutty flavor I thought would go well with the fresh green beans. I decided to keep the marinade simple using fresh herbs with a good olive oil and lemon. The Cotija cheese gives this salad that extra punch.

With so much access to fresh produce in Austin, I used all fresh beans (not dried) to make this salad. While it takes a little extra time  shucking the Fava beans and Chickpeas, the flavors you gain make it worth while. If you ever feel inspired to try the fresh version, have a shucking party. Below I included both ways to make the salad fresh, and using canned beans.

Happy eating friends!

Ingrid

Ingredients

Serves 4


Fresh Bean Salad IngredientsThree Bean Salad Ingredients
30oz Fresh Fava beans, shucked and blanched
20oz Fresh Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans), shucked and rinsed
15oz fresh Green beans, rinsed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup flat leaf Parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup Cotija cheese, chopped into small pieces
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Lemon, juiced
Kosher Salt & ground Black Pepper to taste

Three Bean SaladTip: Fava beans have a waxy outer coating, which you’ll need to remove. Blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds, and then transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. The waxy coating will slip right off.

Quick Version Ingredients
1 (15oz) can Fava beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15oz) can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 (15oz) Green beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup flat leaf Parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup Cotija cheese, chopped into small pieces
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Lemon, juiced
Kosher Salt & ground Black Pepper to taste

Three Bean SaladTip: I recommend using fresh green beans over canned for the quick version. They are regularly available and require no shucking. Be sure to do a light 3 minute steaming before using.

PreparationThree Bean Salad

  1. Fit a medium sized pot with a steamer basket; fill with enough water to reach just below the bottom of basket. Bring water to boil over high heat; add beans to basket. Reduce heat to medium; cover and steam until beans are tender but still offer some resistance to the tooth when sampled, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. In a medium sized bowl transfer the steamed beans. Add the parsley, cotija cheese, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Chill and marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Quick Version Preparation

  1. In a medium sized bowl mix fava beans, chickpeas, green beans, parsley, cotija cheese, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Chill and marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Tip: This salad can be made in advance. It will keep in your refrigerator for several days covered.

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