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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Three Bean Salad

What to make for Mother's Day? I looked around my pantry and decided to make Three Bean salad. I really like this stuff. This isn't your mom's mushy three bean salad! It's full of freshness. I'm a bit evangelical about parsley. If your only exposure to parsley is to have a little slip of green on your restaurant plate, I challenge you to go into your grocery store, or better yet, to your local nursery and put it right in your face and give a big sniff. It is the freshest scent - so full of life! This summer grow and eat parsley. You won't be sorry, I guarantee!
One of the recipes I've been trying to perfect is a balsamic vinaigrette similar to Trader Joe's. I used to joke that TJ's Balsamic Vinaigrette is the universal donor of the salad world. Then my frugal, foodie daughter got on my case about buying bottled salad dressing. "But Mom, it's so easy!" So, this salad has my work-in-progress vinaigrette. I hope that this will become the universal donor dressing in our house. I've used the TJ's version on this bean salad, to marinate cooked beets and sliced onions, and on grated raw beet and carrot salad with cranberries. The possibilities are endless!
Three Bean Salad
1 lb. of fresh or frozen whole green beans
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
1 15 oz. can kidney beans
1 2.25 can sliced olives
1 small onion or shallot, sliced thin
1 BIG hand full of chopped parsley
1 cup balsamic vinaigrette (recipe to follow)
Steam the green beans until tender crisp. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans, kidney beans and olives. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss. Allow to marinate a few hours, stirring occasionally.
Makes 8 cups. 123 calories per 1/2 cup serving.
Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup red wind vinegar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. country style Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. McCormick Garlic & Herb Seasoning
Place all ingredients in a pint jar and shake like crazy.
Makes 2 cups. 45 calories per Tbsp.

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