bean me!
May 20, 2008 7:55 AM   Subscribe

I love beans! I want a few simple recipes for bean salads that will keep a few days in the fridge, and that I can take to work for lunch during the week. The simpler the better - short prep time, few ingredients.

Things I hate which should not be in the bean salad:

canned green beans (frozen or fresh is ok; any other canned bean except lima is ok)
lima beans
onions (garlic is A-OK)
peppers of any kind (bell, jalapeno, etc.)

Recipes that have any of the above ingredients are ok if the ingredient can be left out without compromising the salad too much.

A black-or-red bean and couscous-or-rice salad would be ideal, but I'm having a hard time finding simple recipes for those.

I prefer using canned beans to dry beans (quicker prep, less chance of undercooked beans).

Suggestions for good cookbooks are also welcome.

posted by Koko to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: ho ho ho you've come to the right place for bean-thinking

I like this 3-bean Salad recipe.
posted by mkb at 8:25 AM on May 20, 2008

I often throw together a bean salad, which will usually last me a few lunches. I'll use:

a can of chickpeas, a can of red kidney beans, a can of cannellini beans or pinto beans, a can of sweetcorn, chopped green beans, chopped tomato, spring onions (omit if you like), chopped cucumber, and chopped parsely or coriander. I usually dress it with a dressing made from tomato puree, white wine vinegar, olive oil, whole-grain mustard, salt and pepper.

Some other additions might include:

a tin or two of tuna, capers (work well with the tuna), olives (maybe substitute the parsley or coriander for chopped basil if adding olives), gherkins, chopped ham/meat of some kind, cubes of feta or halloumi cheese, boiled baby potatoes, pasta, bulgar wheat, pine nuts, walnuts, grapes, dried apricots,raisins...the combinations are endless! You will discover that certain flavours work well together -for example, I love tuna and capers, olives and basil, dried apricots and pine nuts...You can also use any kind of dressing if you have a favourite store-bought one.
posted by schmoo at 8:39 AM on May 20, 2008

My favorite all-purpose bean salad dish:

1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 bag of frozen corn, approx. 10-16 oz, thawed on the counter for an hour
1 small jar of salsa, approx. 8-10 oz
chopped leaves from 1 bunch of cilantro
about a teaspoon of cumin, to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Stir this all together, then eat! It's good on tortilla chips (you can call it a corn salsa), or by itself (call it a bean salad), or wrapped in tortillas (add cheese/chicken/steak/etc to your liking, if you want). I usually mix this all together in a big tupperware bowl and keep it in the fridge, then eat it for lunches over the course of several days.
posted by vytae at 8:48 AM on May 20, 2008

I have a pretty simple start for you and you can take it in several directions. Use orange juice instead of water to "cook" your couscous, add a can of rinsed and drained black beans, salt, pepper, olive oil. From here you could add things like slivered almonds or roasted vegetables of your choice.
posted by Craig at 8:53 AM on May 20, 2008

Best answer: Chickpea salad with lemon is awesome. Mix 1 can rinsed drained chickpeas with a dressing made from 2 T. lemon juice and 2 T. olive oil. Add 1 T. fresh chopped cilantro, 1 minced garlic clove, some crushed red pepper, a handful shredded carrots, some finely diced cucumber, and some fresh ground black pepper. You can also add feta and tomato if you like to vary it. This gets tastier as it sits in the fridge marinating!
posted by Miko at 9:09 AM on May 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Chickpea Salad with Lemon and Parmesan

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 ½ tsp. olive oil
A pinch of salt
¼ cup loosely packed shredded Parmigiano Reggiano

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and stir gently to mix. Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve immediately, or chill, covered, until serving.
posted by samsarah at 9:10 AM on May 20, 2008

....err sort of what Miko said.
posted by samsarah at 9:11 AM on May 20, 2008

I've recently discovered Black Turtle Beans. I know you said you prefer canned, but the dried beans cook very reliably, and this salad I made at the weekend is so easy to prepare (I don't think I even bothered with onion and garlic), so give it a go:

- Soak the beans overnight, then rinse.
- Boil vigorously for 10 minutes then simmer for 45.
- Chop up a load of tomatoes.
- Chop up a load a basil.
- Season to taste*, dress with good quality olive oil, mix, and serve on its own (or with rocket which seemed to compliment it).

And that's it. Simple is best in my book, assuming good quality ingredients.

* Maldon Sea Salt is fantastic for seasoning.
posted by chill at 9:17 AM on May 20, 2008

Black-eyed peas are simply the best thing for marinating. They come out all creamy-textured after they've sat with some oil for a day or so.

Half cider vinegar, half olive oil. Whatever veggies float your boat. Any spices you like, too; I'm partial to fresh thyme if I've got it around. A squeeze of lime juice right before you eat it. Aww yeah.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:35 AM on May 20, 2008

Response by poster: These are great, guys - keep 'em coming!
posted by Koko at 9:36 AM on May 20, 2008

I love a bean and tuna salad. Use canned cannellinis or navy beans, drained and very gently rinsed. Add them to a pan in which you're sautéing a few minced cloves of garlic in good olive oil, then add canned, drained tuna, halved cherry tomatoes, lots of pepper, and whatever fresh herb you've got lying around (I like oregano). Great hot, just as great cold, and fine the next day. Don't skimp on the olive oil.
posted by goofyfoot at 11:43 AM on May 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Many of these recipes are very easy to put together - as far as work lunches go, most would be fine if you had a microwave handy in your lunch room.

I particularly like these (also pretty good at room temperature), this (such a fabulous salad), and for something a little more time consuming, but totally gorgeous, try this.
I've made probably half the recipes on this site (found at the start of a big "bean thing" that continues to this day) and have had good results, despite not being much of a cook.

Just in case you haven't come across it before, also check out the bean section of the low fat vegetarian recipe archive - recipes range in preparation time, but I find it a great source of inspiration and ideas. If you eat meat, it's easily added to most of these dishes.

Enjoy your beans!
posted by sleep_walker at 11:48 AM on May 20, 2008

2 boxes of Suddenly Salad + 1 can of (kidney) beans + a can of sweet corn = delicious!
posted by hulahulagirl at 12:14 PM on May 20, 2008

The bean salads I make regularly are:

*2 cans of black beans (drained, rinsed), a cup or so of frozen corn (thawed under running water), chopped tomato, chopped green onion, chopped cilantro; dressing is olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced/pressed/crushed garlic clove, chili powder and cumin to taste; you can leave out the green onion and cumin easily; you can add chunks of avocado if you like

*black beans (rinsed, drained), leftover rice (a cup or two; wild rice mixed in is very good), chopped tomato, chopped celery, crumbled feta, chopped green onion; use Italian dressing or your favorite olive oil/vinegar mix; you can leave out the green onion easily

*tabouli with lentils - canned lentils and bulgar wheat (soaked in boiling water, 1 cup wheat to 1-1.5 cups of water), chopped tomato, lots of chopped parsley, minced garlic; dressing is lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper

*can of white beans (rinsed, drained), chopped fresh baby spinach, chopped red bell pepper, dill (fresh or dried); dressing is plain yogurt mixed with mustard and a bit of black pepper; you can leave out the red bell pepper easily

*and these two chickpea salad ideas that I have suggested previously on AskMeFi (chickpea/feta/basil salad, and chickpea smush, which can be rather like tuna salad)

All of these taste even better after being left to marinate.
posted by Melinika at 1:46 PM on May 20, 2008 [2 favorites]

this one actually takes an extra step, but it is so worth it to have the pickled onions around: white bean salad with pickled red onions and radishes.

for the red onions, I just slice up an onion or two and put them in a jar, then pour a one-to-one mixture of white wine vinegar and water over them. Add a bay leaf, a bit of sugar, a few peppercorns, a sprig of fresh thyme if you've got it around. Let sit in fridge for a few hours or longer—I usually eat them pretty fast, but they keep for a few weeks or a month at least.

then the salad is these, chopped up a bit finer, lots of thinly sliced radishes, and a couple of cans of drained white beans. I make the dressing up based on whatever herbs I have lying around—usually parsley or cilantro, chopped up in the food processor, with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Maybe a little garlic, or a little dijon. Delicious and good to look at, too.

the onions are really really good in hummus sandwiches or fish tacos, too.
posted by felix grundy at 10:55 PM on May 20, 2008 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Does it have to be a salad? Puree a can of cannelini beans with a little olive oil, lemon juice and a clove of garlic, then keep it covered in the fridge. Goes great as a dip for crudite or chunks of bread.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:29 AM on May 26, 2008

Best answer: Oh, bean salad! This is so mind-blowingly good that it begs to be called "X's Famous Summer Bean Salad," where X = your name. It's also incredible lazy-(wo)man's food, since it takes all of 10 minutes to put together.

Rinse a can of black beans in a colander. Put 'em in a bowl. Take a small can of corn niblets. Put 'em in the bowl. Finely dice a small red onion, or half a larger one (I know you don't like onion, so they're optional, but please give it a shot), and put it in the bowl. Dice a nice ripe avocado and put it in the bowl. Squeeze half a lime into the bowl. Add a tablespoon or so of a nice herby vinaigrette (I love Brianna's Real French Vinaigrette for this), squeeze half a lime, add a few grinds of black pepper, and toss. Nirvanalicious and scalable for any number of people.

Also, for people who DO like peppers, finely dice half a jalapeno or so and toss that in.
posted by LDL_Plackenfatz at 8:58 PM on June 1, 2008

dammit. I only just noticed, through the previous comment in my recent activity, that you hate onions. Well! Apologies! I still recommend white bean and radish as a combination, though, and in fact just made this salad yesterday without any pickled red onions, as mine had gone a little funky in the fridge. Dill and balsamic vinegar and purple radishes from the farmers market—delicious.
posted by felix grundy at 7:23 AM on June 6, 2008

« Older What should I photograph in Yellowstone?   |   good pencils for comic strip drawing? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.