This is a modern take on three-bean salad, the famous potluck recipe calling for canned beans (including Kidney beans) doused with a sweet and sour vinaigrette made of sugar, vinegar and a touch of oil. In the summertime when fresh beans of all sorts are available in the Farmers’ Market, this is one of my all-time favorites to serve company.
1-pound mixed green and wax beans (yellow), ends removed and kept whole
1/3-pound Romano beans, stringed (if needed), ends removed and cut diagonally into 2-or 3-inch pieces
½ pound fresh cranberry beans, hulled
3 scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup fennel, thinly sliced
6 medium-sized radishes, thinly sliced
¼ cup Vinaigrette
1. Put green and waxed beans, as well as prepared Romano beans in 2 quarts water along with ¼ cup salt. (I like to use half broth, half water.)
2. Cook for 7 minutes. Place in a bath of ice water to retain the bright colors. Drain thoroughly and set aside.
3. Put cranberry beans in a pot with two inches of salted water and cover. Cook for approximately 12-15 minutes at a slow simmer. Test for doneness. Drain and allow to cool.
4. Please all the beans into a large bowl, add the scallions and fennel. Toss with your favorite vinaigrette recipe. (There in one on this site!)
5. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
6. Put in a serving bowl and decorate with a crown of radish slices.
Wine suggestions: Normally, I do not recommend a wine with a vinaigrette-dressed salad. But, as this will no doubt be served along side a main dish of meat, ham, poultry, or fish, allow that to dictate the wine selection.