Think beans are just for cold weather? Think again. In a crispy cool bean salad, beans are lighter and brighter yet still as filling as ever. This potluck and barbecue side-dish favorite can be prepared in countless ways and is absolutely swoon-worthy when filled to the brim with crunchy farm fresh veggies and protein-packed beans. So pick your bean base from one of the five choices below, and then whip up the recipe that follows:
- Kidney: For a side dish, try our Warm Kidney Bean Salad. For a meatier main dish, mix these richly shaded beans with barley, fresh green peppers and a can of tuna and then top with an olive oil and lemon dressing.
- Black: For a Tex-Mex style salad, simply mix beans with corn, tomatoes, green onions and fresh cilantro and, then top it all off with a sprinkling of lime juice.
- Green: Crisp and garden fresh, green beans will give your salad all the crunch you need. So toss them with juicy cherry tomatoes, soft feta cheese and grilled corn. Add a lemon-mint vinaigrette to really bring out the flavors.
- Pinto: Make a spicy salad by mixing pinto beans with cherry tomatoes, pepperoncini peppers, onions, celery and fresh parsley. Toss in an herbed vinaigrette and add a splash of Tabasco for extra flavor.
- Garbanzo: A highly versatile bean, garbanzos are great mixed in couscous with roasted bell peppers, red onions, cucumbers, currents and feta cheese. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top and toss in a honey-Dijon dressing to finish.
—By Emily Arno