Make Ahead

Reinvented Five Bean Salad

May 24, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

I grew up eating our family's traditional 5 Bean Salad - canned beans with bottled salad dressing. Loved the concept, but prefer as much fresh seasonal food as possible. - Stefanie Samara Hamblen —Stefanie Samara Hamblen

Test Kitchen Notes

The beauty of this salad lies in two things – simplicity, and lemon. Lemon thyme, basil, zest and juice – which sounds like a lot of lemon but, when combined with the heartiness of the two canned beans, it really works. The salad comes together in a snap (no pun intended) and is both an easy keeper and a crowd pleaser. The lemon keeps it bright and refreshing and the beans bring it down to earth. All around a great reinvention! Note: Right now you can’t swing a cat by the tail without hitting a mountain of beautiful green beans, but I checked 2 groceries and the farmers market and found nary a wax bean nor an Italian bean, so technically I tested a 3 bean salad, but I think I got the gist. - aargersi —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups fresh green beans, broken into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh wax or yellow beans, broken into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh Italian or Roma beans, broken into 1 inch pieces
  • 15 ounces canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounces canned dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup high quality olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs - combination of lemon basil and lemon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Lightly steam the fresh green, wax and Italian beans until just tender and then cool to room temperature - do not rinse.
  2. Combine cooled fresh beans with canned beans, stir gently until completely mixed.
  3. In a blender, combine oil, juice, herbs and zest. Blend until smooth.
  4. Toss beans with 1/2 the dressing and stir gently until beans are completely coated.
  5. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired.
  6. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. Serve remaining dressing on the side. Can be served at room temperature, so it is perfect for potlucks and picnics.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

1 Review

lastnightsdinner May 28, 2010
Love your layers of lemony accents!