Sometimes, it’s too hot to move, let alone cook. The idea of firing up the stove or the grill makes you sweat. On those nights, you just want something quick, cool and refreshing. That’s one of the reasons to always keep ready-to-eat items like cooked beans on your pantry shelf. The cooking’s been done for you, so all you have to do is drain, rinse and combine with your favorite toppings for a bean salad that’s ready in minutes.

In this recipe, we use mixed beans. The different sizes and texture of the beans gives the dish more interest, not to mention a pop of color. Because the beans are already soft and creamy, the rest of the ingredients are meant to add a cooling crunch. We’ve gone with vegetables that are mostly water, which will help keep you hydrated on those scorching days. Luckily, these are also items you’ll probably have on hand, meaning no need to run to the grocery store hunting for some hard-to-find ingredient. No, this is plain old celery, carrot, green pepper, cucumber and onion. The sweetness of the carrot and onion cuts through the richness of the beans and provides a counterpoint to the bitter green pepper. If you don’t have exactly these ingredients, don’t stress. Use whatever veggies you have on hand that are delicious raw.

The dressing is light and acidic, with n0 heavy mayonnaise or sour cream base to bog you down. Serve on its own or with leftover grilled chicken for a ridiculously delicious and cool dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 48-ounce jar Randall Mixed Beans
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped sweet salad onion*
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Parsley sprigs, for garnish
Light and Easy Salad Dressing
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Dash Tabasco
Instructions

Drain the beans. Pour into a colander and rinse. Drain thoroughly. Toss the celery, pepper, onion, cucumber and parsley with the beans. Make the dressing by blending all dressing ingredients in the blender, or whisk together with a whisk until well blended. Toss the dressing into the salad. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

To serve: Garnish by placing a couple of parsley sprigs in the middle of the bowl and the halved tomatoes, cut side down, around the edge.

12 servings.

* Sweet salad onions: Vidalia, Walla Walla or red Spanish. Thinly sliced green onions may also be used.

This recipe can be made with either Randall Beans Great Northern Black Beans or the Randall Beans Organic products.

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