Make Ahead

Four Bean Pesto Summer Salad

May 27, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

For many years, I was a New Yorker - a Manhattanite, to be exact - who led the typical fast-paced New York life, struggling to fit work, play, exercise and good eating into my schedule. Multi-tasking became a skill born out of necessity rather than choice, affecting all facets of my life and resulting in my obsession to always find a way to accomplish two things at once. With a passion for food and cooking, as well as a passion for running, I began to time my gym excursions on the tredmill (with built-in television) around the Food Network schedule - thus collecting my necessary daily fix of foodie research and inspiration whilst burning calories. Three miles on the tredmill and a wealth of knowledge from Bobby Flay, Giada, the Barefoot Contessa (the list continues...) later, I have earned motivation and endorphins enough to make it to the grocery store and to cook up whatever spin-off recipe I may have concocted in my head from my gym visit. Thus, I present you with this Food Network inspired healthy summer salad - a spin on Rachel Ray's Three Bean Salad, and just in time to start eating healthy for those Hamptons weekends approaching! - starving-architects —starving-architects

Test Kitchen Notes

Gotta love a recipe that measures in handfuls and glugs! It gives you the freedom to play with the recipe to suit your tastes. Therefore, I threw in a larger "handful" of basil than mint because I was unsure of how it would taste. However, the mint added a, "Hmmm, what's that?" element to the dish, so next time I'll do equal portions of mint and basil. This recipe is exactly what I like to eat for lunch, with vegetables, legumes and pesto. Who needs pasta? - nannydeb —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • 1 handful toasted pinenuts
  • 1-2 handfuls grated Parmesan
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • a couple glugs of good quality olive oil
  • 2 handfuls fresh string beans, ends snapped off
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1 can canelli beans
  • 1-2 handfuls shelled edamame beans (can use frozen shelled edamame)
  1. Boil some water in a pan to steam your string beans, being sure to cook them just slightly as we still want some crunch. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, blend the mint, basil, pine nuts, and garlic cloves together, adding olive oil to create a pesto-like consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour the pesto into a bowl and stir in the Parmesan. Rachel Ray says she prefers to stir it in because it keeps the colour "more green", you can listen to her or boycott this step and just throw the parm in with the rest of the pesto while still in the blender.
  4. Next, add your green beans to the pesto, the full can of garbanzo beans, the full can of canelli beans and finally your shelled edamame beans. Stir together, and there you have it - pasta-less pasta! Easy, fool-proof, packed with healthy ingredients and you can forget about worrying about your beach bod for next weekend.
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