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.

Molly Stevens
Source: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2008


Recipe Summary

1 hr 35 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.)

  • 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.


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; protein 7.5g 15% DV; carbohydrates 24.9g 8% DV; exchange other carbs 1.5; dietary fiber 7.3g 29% DV; sugars 6.3g; fat 1.2g 2% DV; saturated fat 0.3g 1% DV; cholesterolmg; vitamin a iu 1122.5IU 23% DV; vitamin c 17.8mg 30% DV; folate 99.6mcg 25% DV; calcium 78.6mg 8% DV; iron 2.1mg 12% DV; magnesium 54.3mg 19% DV; potassium 573mg 16% DV; sodium 298.1mg 12% DV; thiamin 0.2mg 17% DV; added sugar 3g.

Reviews (7)

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7 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
Yummy but a little too sweet. I enjoyed this and also my husband. I was actually surprised he liked this because I need to find tastes veggie recipes to get my family eating healthful foods. Pros: Veggies Cons: Too much honey for my flavor. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was DELICIOUS! The flavors and textures were right on. I mixed it up a little bit and added some yellow peppers to give it an extra crunch. Family is asking for me to make this constantly-this was by far the best salad I've ever made let alone eaten! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Wow! This was great salad. I wouldn't modify the recipe one bit it turned out just perfect. If you make it one day ahead of time and let the flavors really marinate it tastes even better. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Awesome! The only thing I would recommend is using fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes since they are the stars in this salad. We used some from our garden and it was outstanding. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious! A hit with the whole family and a great way to get more fiber into our diet. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was pretty good. I would make this again. It had a nice flavor that was very unique. The flavors complimented each other well. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Fantastic... I added small bite sized Mozarella balls to this. Everyone loved it! Read More