As I was starting this article, I was going to write that my husband and I agree on many food choices. The more I thought about it, the less I was sure that it was true. We do like similar restaurants and enjoy a number of similar foods, but when asked to name our top choices, our lists would be vastly different. Part of what makes our shared dining compatible is that we keep each other in balance. He likes a lot of something, I like a little, and vice versa. He’s never going to have to worry that I’ll eat all of the French fries, nor will I worry that he’ll abscond with my dessert.
However, there are a few items for each of us that are 100% not mutually agreeable. For example, he’s a huge fan of organ meat, and I can pass on almost all of it. Opposite to that, I adore legumes, and he can let them go. So, this salad is not one made when it’s just the two of us at home. Although I enjoy it, I don’t need a whole batch for myself.
This salad has been in my recipe file as long as I have cooked, as my mom made it often when I was a kid. I have taken her recipe and tweaked it slightly. I like mine lighter (as I do all salads), so I have reduced the amount of oil drastically. For me the important flavors come from the vinegar and veggies. If you prefer a heavier vinaigrette, feel free to increase the amount of olive oil; it won’t impact the quality of the salad. I also changed it from a three-bean salad to only two. Finally, to add some brightness I use fresh green beans instead of canned. If you’re in a rush, canned would work fine.
This salad is best made early in the day, so it can chill and allow the flavors to meld.
- 1/2 lb. green beans
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1/2 green pepper
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 2/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tb. olive oil
- Remove ends from green beans and cut into 1-inch segments.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and add green beans. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Drain green beans and rinse with cold water.
- Combine green beans, kidney beans, pepper, and onion in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl whisk vinegar, sugar, and oil until blended.
- Pour vinaigrette over salad, and toss to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours to chill and allow flavors to meld.