Four-Bean Salad

One of my favorite dishes during the summer is three-bean salad. Even before I had a garden, it’s was near the top of my list.

Actually, the last few years, we’ve had four types of beans in our salads — green, yellow wax, scarlet runner and kidney. And the green ones have been both the bush and pole varieties. The salad is very nutritious. It’s low in fat and high in fiber and protein.

I recently came across another four-bean recipe, this one substituting edamame for the scarlet runners. Edamame is a preparation of baby soybeans in the pod commonly found in Japan, China and Korea. The pods usually are boiled in water together with condiments such as salt and served whole. Outside East Asia, the dish most often is found in Japanese restaurants and some Chinese restaurants but also has found popularity elsewhere as a healthy food item.

I can’t wait to try the new recipe — especially the second day, since the longer the beans are in the dressing, the more flavorful they’ll be.

Sweet and Tangy Four-Bean Salad
8 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed
¾ cup cider vinegar
2/3 cup tomato juice
¼ cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons dry red wine or apple juice
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1 clove garlic, minced (½ teaspoon)
1 12-ounce package frozen shelled sweet soybeans (edamame), thawed
1 14½-ounce can cut wax beans, rinsed and drained or 8 ounces fresh
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
4 large carrots, coarsely shredded
In large saucepan, cook green beans and wax beans in boiling lightly salted water for 10 minutes or just until tender; drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
In extra-large bowl, combine vinegar, tomato juice, oil, wine, sugar, Worcestershire, mustard and garlic. Stir in beans, green onion, and carrot. Refrigerate, covered, 4 to 48 hours. Serve with a slotted spoon.
Yield: Serves 12.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving 174 calories, 6 grams fat (1 grams saturated), no cholesterol, 231 milligrams sodium, 24 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 7 grams protein.