3 Bean Salad…a beach journey

Three Bean Salad

During the summer there are so many great opportunities for picnics and barbeques that I love to have some great fixes to bring along that require little to no oven time and get me out in the sun even sooner.  Three bean salad is such a staple, it is vegetarian yet packed with protein and iron.  It is incredibly refreshing with the bright flavors of lemon and cilantro. And it can take less than 10 minutes to make.  Win. Win.


I started this salad with a can of kidney beans, a can of chickpeas, and a can of black beans. Then I sliced in some delicious jumbo olives–pausing for a moment to eat a few before they all made it into the bowl.  Hey-with a 10 minute salad, I can linger when needed.


Next goes the marinated artichoke hearts, vine tomato, avocado, cilantro, and lemon.  Dress with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Now off to the beach!

If you live in NYC, summer opens up all new possibilities of adventure. We are fortunate enough in the city to have public transportation to take us directly to numerous beaches.  I mean, I can go from work in the morning take a subway to LIRR and I’m off! Or even take a subway right to Coney Island.  It just amazes me how liberating it can be to escape.

We had picked a gorgeous sunny day, packed a picnic, and were truly ecstatic to hit the beach.  No complaints were even made as we made the long progression from the boardwalk to the actual surf.  We winced at the hot sand burning our toes but just pranced on towards the sparkling water and our awaiting picnic.

Now, I was set to get this picnic rolling! I whipped out my tupperware like a mother of seven, sliced my baguette like a true French citizen, and minced my metaphors as I had my salad.  After subways, trains, and buses, I was ready to dig in.

Hard boiled eggs seasoned with smoked paprika, smoked gouda and baguette, some ripe peaches, and of course the three bean salad I whipped together earlier.  It was easy and friggin’ tasty!

I even had an eager audience as I ate, one hoping for any scrap of a leftover. As seen by my fine feathered friend encroaching on our blanket space.

With full bellies we lounged in the sun. Then dove into the water that was-lets just say a tad cooler than one would expect on a bright summer day.  Divine! How can you ever worry at the beach?  It is one of the few experiences that can just erase life’s little hiccups and bring you back to yourself and the joy of being.  It helps having a great friend along as well…

Little did we care as we watched the storm rolling towards us and the water.  We didn’t pack up when the life guards started whistling to GET OUT OF THE WATER!  We didn’t flee when the storm clouds covered half the once tranquil sky and the temperature dropped. Okay, we did have to move when they cleared the beach.  You win some, eh, you lose some. But we waited out the storm.  Each in our own way.  Some dance in the rain, some drink it in.  And hey, I never knew corona came in a can.

Overall, it was just a remarkable day.  We were well fed, sun kissed, and now had the beach to ourselves after everyone had cleared out.  And the sun came back to dry our rain soaked clothes and give us just that final farewell before we had to board the bus again.

As for your three bean salad:

you can eat on on a train, you can eat them in the rain.

they’re awfully good at the beach and pair so nicely with a peach

you could eat them anywhere and hopefully without a care.

And now for the recipe:

Three Bean Salad

1 (15.5 ounce can) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 (15.5 ounce can) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15.5 ounce can) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (5.5 ounce can) large pitted black olives, rinsed, drained, and sliced

1/2 cup sliced marinated artichoke hearts (from a can or jar), chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro (very thoroughly rinsed) then chopped

1 large vine tomato, medium dice

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 ripe Hass avocado, medium dice

In a large mixing bowl, combine beans and sliced olives.  Add in marinated artichoke hearts (I like to keep a little of the juice if they are packed in olive oil–it is already seasoned and adds some flavor).  Then add in cilantro and tomato.  Toss and dress with olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon. Mix and season to taste with salt and pepper. Finish by folding in avocado.  Chill and serve.


One thought on “3 Bean Salad…a beach journey

  1. Pingback: Aloo Gobi « Cooking with Aurora

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