Make Ahead

Mid Century Four Bean Salad

April  7, 2014
4 Ratings
  • Serves 6-8 as a side dish
Author Notes

I started making this version of a picnic/potluck favorite many years ago when I was given the 1963 edition of the McCall's Cookbook. This recipe originally called for frozen or canned green and yellow beans, more sugar, vegetable oil,and was only a "3 bean salad". I've added more beans, fresh beans, reduced the sugar and added more colorful peppers. Although I have reduced the amount of sugar, I would not eliminate it entirely; as the dressing is pleasantly " agrodolce". (although this was not a word much in use in 1963.)

This is a cinch to throw together, is bright and colorful, can be made in advance, travels well, and is loved by both adults and children. It goes well with any grilled meat or fish, or as part of a buffet of other salads. Old as it is, it has held up well, and there is rarely any left over. It can be easily doubled or tripled for a crowd. —jamcook

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 pound fresh green beans, tipped and tailed and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3/4 pound fresh yellow or wax beans tipped and tailed and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 15 1/2 oz can chickpeas,rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 1/2 oz can pinto or red beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 red onion cut in half, and thinly sliced into half moons
  • 2 large bell peppers ( I use red and yellow ) slivered
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  1. Steam the green and yellow beans together until just tender. Drain them and add to a large bowl with onions, peppers, chickpeas , pinto beans and garlic.
  2. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt and pepper until well mixed . Pour the dressing over the vegetables and coat well . Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight to let the flavors blend.

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