Remember when Julia Roberts in the Runaway Bride didn’t know what kind of eggs she liked? Stay with me … this is how I felt about three bean salad. I knew I liked it, but also something about it I didn’t like. I finally figured out I liked the concept, but not the ingredients. So, I just invented my own with the ingredients I like. I give you my very own Vegetable Salad as the perfect side for any summer meal. And while I’m sharing this summer favorite, I’d thought I’d really make your day and give you two more … Orzo Salad and Fiesta Black Bean Salad … a Summer Salad Trifecta!
They are great to keep in the frig especially when you have house guests. They can be pulled out for lunch as a side with sandwiches or for dinner. Best of all, they can be served at room temperature. If you’ve done my EE workshop, you’ve heard me say that having one or two sides that can be served at room temperature or even cold makes the last-minute preparation to serve dinner so much easier.
Did I mention the workshop? You bet I did! The next EE 30 Days to Effortless Entertaining workshop will begin on September 13th just in time to gear up for the fall and winter holidays. As you know, I limit the number of spaces in each workshop. If you want your name added to a waiting list for early registration, email me with your name and email address. You’ll receive an early bird registration! For more information on the workshop, click here.
Even though fall will be here before we know it, let’s enjoy these summer days with family and friends!
From our home to yours!
SERVES 8—10 In Order to Serve, Christ Episcopal Church
6 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 ears sweet white corn (or 2 cups frozen, thawed)
2 cups cut thin asparagus, ½′′ pieces
2 cups cut French green beans, ½′′ pieces
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
cup chopped English cucumber
¼ cup chopped red onion
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl or shake in a small jar to blend well.
Cook corn; cut off cob. Blanch asparagus and green beans, transfer to ice bath, and drain well.
Combine all vegetables in a medium bowl. Toss with dressing. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe tastes better if made earlier in the day or 1–2 days in advance. If preparing earlier in the day, keep at room temperature for the flavors to blend. If preparing 1–2 days in advance, cover and chill. When ready to serve, bring to room temperature and add the tomatoes.
For the green beans, I use prepackaged French green beans from the produce section, not canned.
To blanch the asparagus and green beans, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the green beans and cook for 1 min, then add the asparagus and cook for 1 min more. Drain well and transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and to retain bright-green color. Drain again when cool.
SERVES 8—10 Adapted from Inspired Cooking, First Presbyterian Church
¾ cup olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 cups slivered almonds, toasted
1 lb orzo
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1 sweet yellow pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 lb grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk dressing ingredients to blend well or shake in a small jar.
Cook orzo, drain well. Transfer to large bowl. Add dressing. Let cool.
Add remaining ingredients except feta cheese. Cover and chill. Add feta to serve.
Recipe may be prepared earlier in the day or 2–3 days in advance. If preparing earlier in the day, cover and keep at room temperature. If preparing 2–3 days in advance, cover and chill. When ready to serve, add tomatoes, basil, and feta.
Fiesta Black Bean Salad
SERVES 20 Adapted from Inspired Cooking
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup lime juice
1 tbsp ground cumin
1½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp minced garlic
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2–3 ears corn, kernels cut off cobs*
½ red bell pepper, chopped
½ yellow bell pepper, chopped
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
⅓ cup chopped green onions
Crumbled feta cheese (optional)
Cilantro sprigs (optional)
* You may substitute 10 oz of frozen corn or 1 can of white corn for the fresh corn.
Whisk dressing ingredients in small bowl. You may also use an immersion blender to fully emulsify.
For salad, combine black beans, corn, peppers, onions, and cilantro in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss.
Garnish with crumbled feta cheese and cilantro sprigs (optional).
Salad may be prepared 1 day in advance.
You may want to serve cilantro on the side. For some, cilantro tastes like dish soap. It is verifiable: “How cilantro tastes to you has a lot to do with your genes,” says SciShow’s Hank Green. “Scientists were able to pin down most cilantro haters as people with a shared group of olfactory-receptor genes, called OR6A2, that pick up on the smell of aldehyde chemicals. Aldehyde chemicals are found in both cilantro and soap.” – Huffington Post