Bean Salad

My mom and her sisters were big on bean salad.  Growing up in Minnesota, salads either had mayonnaise, whipping cream or vinegar in them.  This recipe from her infamous recipe box is of the vinegar variety.  She was always looking for ways to pump up the flavor volume and Feta cheese won this round for me.

So, why bean salad?  Reason #1, mom lived in constant fear of Sam and Ella and this salad could sit out safely.  Reason #2, there were so many potlucks and luncheons, I think the contributors were often hard pressed to come up with something different.  My theory is the competitive nature of the buffet table.  The only way to get rid of all that adrenaline was to bring the best dish.  Those were different time.

Bean salads came in 2 basic varieties:  beans of the legume family or from the green bean family.  Mom always used wax beans when making the second variety.  They were different, but I’ll save those for another day.  I like this type because it gave me a protein boost.  I must admit, I usually prefer plant protein to animal protein, except when it comes to cheese and then I always prefer cheese.  Those are just my taste buds not a comment on how one should eat.

3 cans beans (black, garbanzo, kidney, great northern, any kind you like), rinsed and drained

Chopped veggies:  celery, Bell peppers, onions, carrots, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes.  Your choice, but at least 1/2 cup each of several.

Firm white cheese like Mozzarella or Feta 4 to 8 ounces depending on how many veggies being used, cubed (I always use Feta.  I love the salty taste it adds)

Chopped cilantro and parsley – you can’t use too much of these

Place everything in a bowl.

Dressing:

Olive oil (I like mine moist so I use at least 1/2 to 1 cup)

Squeeze of lemon or a tablespoons or 2 of apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons Honey

S & P to taste

Toss dressing with salad ingredients.  Let the flavors marry for a couple of hours if you have the time.

* From the Recipe Box:

You can also go a more Mediterranean route with Feta cheese, olives, chopped dill, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

I like the vinegar bite, so that’s typically my choice.

and remember:  Some people really suck.  Avoid them.  Big kiss, Lynn

 

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