Composed Bean Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate green beans (Step 1) and dressing (Step 2) in separate containers for up to 1 day.
Try homemade beans instead of canned. Start with 1 pound of any type of dry beans and rinse well. Place in a large bowl and cover with 2 inches of cold water. Let soak at least 8 hours or overnight. (If you're in a hurry, put the beans in a pot and cover with 2 inches of water; bring to boil, boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 1 hour.) Drain the beans, transfer to a large pot and cover with 3 inches cold water. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 30 minutes to 2 hours. (Cooking time varies depending on the type and age of the bean; start checking tenderness at 30 minutes.) Wait until the beans are almost tender to add salt; adding it too early can prevent beans from softening. (Use about 1 teaspoon salt per pound of beans.) Refrigerate beans in their cooking liquid for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. One pound dry beans makes 5 to 6 cups
1 1/2 starch, 1/2 vegetable, 1 1/2 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat