Simple Bean Salad

by Sarah on June 14, 2012 · 13 comments

During the whirlwind of dip ‘n’* chip events last weekend, I was reminded that the term “dip” is a rather loose descriptor for anything you could possibly serve on a chip.

*Please note, I feel weird using two apostrophes here, but I also feel weird NOT using two, as it implies that the word and does not have three letters, or that either the a or the d is insignificant. And that’s just not good for either one of their self-esteem.In fact, one of my favorite ‘dips’ from the weekend was the Clean Eating Carolina Caviar that Brittany brought to the Virginia Bloggers + Wholesome Goodness party…namely because once I saw it, I could not stop thinking about yet another one of my Aunt Elizabeth’s delicious, easy recipes for a crowd.”

*Or just for one, if you are my cousin Emily.I wanted to have a big, dramatic name for this recipe up there, bold and (the) beautiful…but once again, it is a recipe passed down through the family ‘album’ given an attributive name, rather than an incredibly witty or descriptive one.

So “Aunt Elizabeth’s Bean Salad” it is.

I’ve actually blogged about this salad before, when I made it for a summer gathering where the unannounced theme was “how easy can I throw this thing together?”

And when I found myself faced with two left-behind cans in my new (smart) kitchen, I knew it was time to make it again.

No, I did not rip off the label of the black-eyed peas in a fit of “why won’t this darn can opener work???” rage. (Although that would not have been surprising.) Rather, I–once again–salvaged this can from being thrown away when I was working at Central Market in Austin…and brought it with me all the way back to Virginia.

"Damaged" because someone else ripped off the label in a fit of "why is this store so expensive?" rage.

Having the beans helped. As did having a lonely green pepper, purchased entirely on a whim.What helped even more was the fact that I had adopted a baby an ear of corn at the Farmer’s Market and now needed something to do with it.

[Aside from pet it like puppy.]

I want to call this a two-bean salad–because who needs THREE, when the two you’ve got are delicious?–but since we refer to the black-eyed peas as, well, peas*…that might be confusing.

*Or the vehicle by which Fergie became famous, since Kids, Incorporated didn’t do it for her.But technically they are all legumes, right? Maybe? I don’t feel like looking it up. So let’s just say yes and move on.To the beans (legumes? peas?), add some chopped green bell pepper and some chopped red onion.At this point, stir well…you might have to break up the onion a little ferociously so you don’t end up with miniature leaning towers of poor aftertaste.

If you are like me, you will nearly forget the corn. Don’t forget the corn.*

*You can still be like me in other ways, though.Aunt Elizabeth normally uses a small can of white shoepeg corn, but if you’ve got a fresh ear or two listening in, you might as well use ’em.Talk about salvaging…the only other change I made was to squeeze on the juice of this dying lemon, along with a VERY simple ‘dressing’ of vinegar, salt, pepper, cumin,* and a smidge of oil.

*Oh wait, the cumin is all me, too. :)

Stir everything together, and just be generally excited about life. [And lunch.]

You might not be as excited about having to clean up. But just because it’s easy to make…doesn’t mean it’s not also easy to make a mess. [Oh dear me. I crack myself up.]It’s worth it though. Whether you use it as a dip for chips…

…or just to top off your salad.

Yes, my solution for everything is "just throw it on a salad."

 Or you can just go at it with a spoon.That is always an option.

Simple Bean Salad

(Makes about 6 cups)

  • 1 15 oz. can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh white corn (may substitute 11 oz. can white shoepeg corn)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Stir well.

[For best flavor, allow to chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.]

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Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count June 14, 2012 at 8:14 am

This sounds great, Sarah! Reminds me of a recipe I have somewhere that uses Way more bean types than yours. I hestate making it unles I’m going to a picnic or having a crowd. It makes a TON!! I should make it anyway. It will be intersting for BCDC and I can share with people!! Thanks for the inspiration!

Tricia @ Saving room for dessert June 14, 2012 at 8:55 am

Oh Sarah that’s so sweet! Your corn puppy has such silky hair :) And I think the Aunt Elizabeth bean salad looks delicious!

Emily June 14, 2012 at 9:03 am

Your bean salad reminds me of a salad Chris’ mom makes. Oh-so-simple and satisfying! I’m a huge red onion fan and this would rock on top of a salad – I’m like you and throw anything in a bowl (or plate) and call it a salad.

Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers June 14, 2012 at 10:13 am

Yummy! I’m bad about waiting for things like salad to cool and marinate in itself in the fridge. I just wanna’ dig in!

Heather Blackmon @ Better With Veggies June 14, 2012 at 11:40 am

Bean salads are awesome – I feel like they are so much healthier than other dips that I make, which means I get to eat more, right? And I am cracking up over that picture of you and your “baby”. 😉

Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut June 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Yummy yummy yummy!!
You are hilarious and talented girl!! Why don’t we live closer??

Elizabeth June 14, 2012 at 4:09 pm

I love all the credit – a nurse brought this to Paw-Paw’s retirement party! I always think of him when I eat it! Miss him still all of the time!

lindsay June 14, 2012 at 4:56 pm

BUSHES!! I love those beans. I think of the talking dog. is that wrong?

Talia @ Bite Size Wellness June 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I have something against the word legumes (yuck!) so I think sticking with bean salad is a fab idea! Love a simple dip that can work with everything. Thanks for the recipe.
Can I have a baby corn too?

Brittany @ Delights and Delectables June 14, 2012 at 8:07 pm

You are too cute! This looks so good!

Maria June 14, 2012 at 9:56 pm

I love dark red kidney beans! I put them in my taco salads, in most of my soups, and sometimes I eat them right out of the can.

Carly June 15, 2012 at 9:21 pm

haha; i loved the part about the angry customer tearing off the bean label in a rage. Your posts are much more like stories and I love them(:

Sarah June 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Thank you! I sometimes let my overactive imagination get carried away…

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