This beautiful salad combines fresh tomatoes, green beans, red onions and dried heirloom beans. Recently harvested beans (and thus freshly dried) cook more quickly than the kind you buy year-round at the market. In the latter part of the summer, farmers' markets begin to sell a fresh crop of heirloom varieties that would be perfect for this salad. Source: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2008

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

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  • If using canned beans, skip to Step 3. If using dried beans, rinse and pick over for any stones, then place in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak at room temperature for at least 6 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, use our quick-soak method: see Tip.)

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  • Drain the soaked beans, rinse and transfer to a large saucepan. Add 6 cups cold water. Bring to a simmer, partially cover, and simmer gently, stirring once or twice, until tender but not mushy, 20 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the freshness of the dried beans. (If you're using heirloom beans, be sure to check them after 20 minutes--they tend to cook more quickly than conventional beans.) If at any time the liquid level drops below the beans, add 1 cup water. When the beans are about three-fourths done, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. When the beans are tender, remove from the heat and drain.

  • Combine the beans (cooked or canned), the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, onion, vinegar, honey, oil and pepper in a large bowl. Stir, cover and refrigerate to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

  • Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Pat dry and add to the marinated beans. Stir in cherry (or grape) tomatoes and basil. Season with pepper.

  • To serve, arrange tomato slices around the edge of a serving platter or shallow salad bowl and spoon the bean salad into the center.

Tips

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Tip: To quick-soak beans, place in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Proceed with Step 2.

While we love the convenience of canned beans, they tend to be high in sodium. Give them a good rinse before adding to a recipe to rid them of some of their sodium (up to 35 percent) or opt for low-sodium or no-salt-added varieties. (Our recipes are analyzed with rinsed, regular canned beans.) Or, if you have the time, cook your own beans from scratch.

Nutrition Facts

133 calories; 1.2 g total fat; 0.3 g saturated fat; 298 mg sodium. 573 mg potassium; 24.9 g carbohydrates; 7.3 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 7.5 g protein; 1123 IU vitamin a iu; 18 mg vitamin c; 100 mcg folate; 79 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 54 mg magnesium; 3 g added sugar;

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