Whenever I visit my parents, they stock up on all my favourite foods. From healthy fruits and nuts to way-too-indulgent desserts and everything in-between, I am spoilt for choice.
One food item which invariably makes an appearance on the list is a tub of Marks & Spencer three bean salad. I am sure that there are plenty of very good variations out there but the Marks one has to be my favourite and my parents know it so make sure it is there to greet me on arrival!
Whenever I think of three bean salad, I think of that particular one and all the good family times associated with it.
certain foods have a way of evoking strong memories, a bit like people I suppose
This is my kooky version of the popular bean salad which can be had on the side or as a main course with some rustic bread.
Instead of the conventional vinegar dressing, I made some herb dressing with a hint of garlic which pairs very well with the beans and vegetables.
Also given my recent love for toasted seeds, I have added some sunflower and pumpkin seeds for texture and aroma.
This salad recipe is very adjustable. For instance, I used kidney bean, chickpea and cannellini bean but feel free to use whichever beans you fancy.
Same goes for the pepper. I used the yellow variety but you can use red or green, there is no right or wrong way.
Having said that, one ingredient which is a must for this is some good quality vinegar. I used cider vinegar; you can try it with simple white vinegar or red or white wine vinegar or even sherry vinegar.
Refrigerate any leftover salad, it will taste delicious the next day.
Ingredients for the Herby Dressing
1 Cup fresh coriander leaves and stalk (if tender)
1 Cup fresh mint
2 Tablespoons fresh dill
2-3 Garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Juice of one lime or lemon
Salt to taste
- Wash the coriander, mint and dill leaves.
- Peel the cloves of garlic.
- Bung all the ingredients in a blender or a food processor.
- Once blended, remove to an air tight container and set aside.
Ingredients for Salad
2 Cups mixed beans of your choice, boiled
1 Yellow pepper
100 Grams french beans
1 Large carrot
Handful of fresh dill
2 Tablespoons toasted seeds of your choice
Herby dressing as given above
Salt to taste
- Firstly, you want to marinate the beans and onions in the dressing so that they can absorb the flavour. For this, peel, wash and very finely chop the onions.
- Add the herby dressing to the boiled beans and chopped onions and set aside for a couple of hours.
- When you are ready to make the salad, wash, de-core, de-seed and finely slice the pepper.
- Wash and coarsely grate the carrot.
- Top, tail and wash the french beans (snap into two if too long) and steam them till just tender.
- Chop and wash the fresh dill leaves.
- In a big mixing bowl, combine the beans and onion in herby dressing with the sliced pepper, grated carrots, steamed french beans, chopped dill and toasted seeds.
- Mix thoroughly so that all the ingredients are coated with the dressing.
- Have it as is or chill for a while before serving.
- During the last mixing stage, if you find the quantity of dressing insufficient for the salad, whisk together some olive oil with mustard and pour this over the salad.