Four-Bean Salad

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


Cooking instructions:

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.

 Serves: 6

 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.