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three bean salad with fresh mintI’ve talked so much about the lingering cold winter weather, but I think true springtime temperatures are finally going to make their appearance this Sunday.

Oh joy. Oh rapture.

Sorry, too dramatic.

I want to plant our vegetable garden this week and fill all of the pots on the front and back porches with pansies.  It should finally be warm enough to work outside.

But, in the meantime I’m trying to get ready for bikini season.

Or as I like to call it: a one piece with a cute cover up and an over-sized sun sat season.

So, lots more salads, fresh vegetables and fruits which I hope will still leave a little room to indulge on the weekends with things like this.

Baked goods aside, don’t you think that there is something appealing about adding fresh mint to a salad?

Somehow it always seems so exotic when it’s featured in something savory.

I hate that mint always seems to be relegated to garnish status, like atop a fluffy dollop of whipped cream.

And, since I still have plenty left I plan to make a mint pesto and maybe toss some fresh mint (or the mint pesto) with new potatoes.

Well, let’s get started.

fresh green beans

You’ll need 1 lb of trimmed fresh green beans.  Cook the green beans in salted, boiling water for 3 minutes; drain them and then rinse under cold water.

garbanzo and cannellini beans

Place 1 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans and 1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans into a colander and rinse and drain them well.

fresh mint

Here’s the fresh mint.  It smelled so good.  Wash and chop a 1/4 cup of mint.  I saved some mint “tops” to garnish the finished salad.

fresh green beans with garbanzo and cannellini beans

In a large bowl, combine the fresh green beans with the garbanzo and cannellini beans.

adding fresh mint to the three bean salad

Add the 1/4 cup of fresh chopped mint to the bowl.

making red wine vinaigrette

To make the red wine vinaigrette, start with a 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil.

making red wine vinaigrette

Next, add 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar and a 1/4 cup of sparkling water.  I used Pellegrino, but you could use whatever you have on hand.  Whisk to combine.

adding the vinaigrette to the beansAdd the red wine vinaigrette to the beans and mint.  I used a large wooden spoon, but then found that tongs worked the best to combine the beans with the vinaigrette.

three bean salad with fresh mintSeason the three bean salad with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

three bean salad with fresh mint

Garnish with additional mint “tops” if you like.  I loved the colors of this salad and could see serving this with with grilled or poached salmon.  You could even flake some leftover salmon into this salad.

That would look so pretty.

Three Bean Salad with Fresh Mint

Recipe by: Mario Batali and found in People Magazine, 3.25.13

Ingredients

2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 lb. green beans trimmed
1 (15 0z.) can chickpeas (garbanzo), rinsed and drained
1 (15 0z.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sparkling water
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon (I used kosher salt)
Coarsely ground black pepper

Method

Add salt to 4 quarts boiling water. Cook green beans in water, 3 minutes. Drain in colander. Rinse beans in cold water to cool. Drain well, pat dry.

Combine beans, cannellini beans and chickpeas (garbanzo) in a large bowl. Add mint and toss well and set aside.

Whisk together vinegar, water and olive oil. Pour half of vinaigrette over bean mixture and toss again.

Season with flaky sea salt and pepper. Serve immediately with remaining vinaigrette, or *let stand at room temperature 1 hour to enhance flavors.

Serves: 6

Allison

 

 

 

 

 

 

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