Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Food: Sweet and Tangy Three Bean Salad

I love vinegar. And if you're wondering to what extent, let me tell you it's not uncommon for me to douse fish and chips in so much liquid the fish appear to be swimming once again or to eat so much salt and vinegar flavored popcorn my tongue hurts. I prefer vinegar over any sort of salad dressing and think it's great on any and all potato-based dishes (potato chips and perogies included) or crisp veggies (lettuce, cukes, okra). And I get super-excited when restaurants cater to my cravings. For example, a favorite Detroit-area restaurant of mine serves the national dish of Cuba (Ajiaco) with a container of vinegar on the side to pour into the stew. Despite all of these ways I use this tangy condiment, my favorite usage is in the age-old culinary method of pickling.

I have always been a fan of pickles and serving them in new ways (Jonathan introduced me to grilled cheese with pickles not too long ago and I wondered why I had never thought to try it before). And as I've mentioned in past postings, my mom does a lot of canning every year, often making a couple batches of pickled veggies, green beans being one variety. Her green beans I fancy even more than traditional cucumber-based dills since they're firm, crunchy and tangy with a touch of a kick. So when I found this salad in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine, I was instantly reminded of my mother's canned, hot beans and thought this seemed like a dressed-up, refrigerator-version.

I first mentioned this side dish a couple of postings ago (I served it with Swordfish Milanese). As in any refrigerator pickle recipe, it's important to make this a day ahead as the flavors really concentrate overnight. The fresh green beans will lose some of their bright green color the longer they're in the fridge but don't worry, they will keep their crunch and absorb a ton of flavor.



Sweet and Tangy Three Bean Salad
Adapted from: Better Homes & Gardens

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 3/4 cups cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cups bloody mary mix (I prefer Mr & Mrs T's Premium Blend)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp. stone-ground mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5-oz. can cut wax beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 baby carrots, sliced

Directions

  1. In large saucepan cook green beans in boiling lightly salted water for 10 minutes or just until tender; drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. In extra-large bowl combine vinegar, bloody mary mix, oil, sugar, Worcestershire, mustard and garlic. Stir in canned beans and carrot. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.

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