Mom’s Four-Bean Salad

April 30, 2012 5:58 am

Four Bean Salad

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a Food Bloggers Los Angeles meetup, hosted by Two Broads Abroad. It’s always a casual affair, in which local food bloggers friends get together for a potluck meal and to discuss a particular aspect of blogging. (Yesterdays topic? Pinterest.)

It’s always a fun time that goes by way too quickly; food bloggers are such lovely, enthusiastic, and supportive folks. (And I’m ever-grateful for Erika, Patti, and Dorothy for leading the charge on all things FBLA.)

Since Mother’s Day is just around the corner, we were asked to bring a dish honoring our mothers.  You know, something mom used to make.

So I flipped open the three-ring binder my mom gave me a few years back, filled with the recipes she’s collected over the years.  I love thumbing through the various recipes — and seeing where many of them came from (“Grandma Martha’s Sewing Class” is my favorite). It gives a perfect hint of a rich history and tradition. There are even a couple of recipes that just say “Andrew” beneath the title — a clue that I’ve long enjoyed spending time with mom in the kitchen.

It’s funny, with all the cookbooks we have in our kitchen, that’s the one I go to most often. And if you scan through many of my posts, you’ll probably notice that there are a lot of “Thanks, Mom!” parentheticals peppered throughout. When I pause to think about how much I know in the kitchen, a heck of a lot of it came from her.

So, thank you mom, for teaching me so much, for your inspiration and guidance, and for your Rule-of-Three.*  Also, for this dead-simple bean salad recipe, which takes about five minutes to make. I love you.

Mom's Four Bean Salad Recipe

Four-Bean Salad
Recipe Type: Side Dish
Prep Time: 
Total Time: 
Serves: 10-20
A perfect side dish for a summer picnic! It's best when made a day or two before, so the onions have a chance to pickle a little bit in the vinegar, and all the flavors have some time to get to know each other.
  • 1 can Yellow (Wax) Beans
  • 2 cans Green Beans
  • 1 can Red Kidney Beans
  • 1 can Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
  • 1 Small Onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
  • ½ cup Vinegar (distilled white, or apple cider)
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. Open all the cans and empty the beans into a colander. Rinse.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large container, ideally one that has a leak-proof lid. Roll or flip the container to mix the ingredients.
  3. Refrigerate for at least a few hours (overnight is better). Roll or flip the container occasionally to help it marinate. Serve cold.

* Mom always insisted I try something at least three times before giving it up.  Soccer practice, piano lessons, whatever. I had to go three times before I was allowed to quit (which often didn’t happen after that third time). Smart woman, that one.

11 Comments on "Mom’s Four-Bean Salad"
  1. Comment left on:
    April 30, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Oh yeah, this bean salad is GOOOOOD! You could throw some into some cooked chewy grains (farro? wheat berries?) and have a wonderful summer grain salad, too. Very versatile, as well as delicious!

  2. Comment left on:
    April 30, 2012 at 11:50 am
    Sarah says:

    My mom makes a bean salad JUST like this. It’s one of my favorite things too!

  3. Comment left on:
    April 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm
    Dennis says:

    Yeah, you have a truly wonderful mom :)

  4. Comment left on:
    April 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm
    Joan says:

    I haven’t made it in so long – that picture is tempting me to open a few cans and throw it all together. Nice change, Andrew, with the olive oil and the red onions in the picture. It’s interesting how so many memories are around food!

  5. Comment left on:
    May 1, 2012 at 7:44 am
    Lizthehcef says:

    I suspected you had a terrific mom and your post confirms my suspicions.

  6. Comment left on:
    May 1, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Andrew… I have to admit I’m a big fan of bean salad, but I also have to admit to never have made it before. This recipe certainly looks like a winner. A lovely post to honor your mom!!

  7. Comment left on:
    May 2, 2012 at 8:59 am
    Fuji Mama says:

    Thank goodness for smart and awesome moms!! I love a classic four bean salad and can’t wait to try out this version!

  8. .
    May 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    [...] Wilder of Eating Rules brought his mom’s Four-Bean Salad, which he recalls as even more delicious after sitting in the fridge for a few [...]

  9. Comment left on:
    May 2, 2012 at 7:31 pm
    Karen says:

    While this is a great recipe, SUGAR is completely not needed. The blend of a quality olive oil and vinegar will get your taste buds going without adding more sugar to our diets.

  10. Comment left on:
    May 7, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Hey Andrew, Thanks for being a great roomie at camp. I had an awesome weekend and can’t wait for another FBLA meet up!
    Take care..

    • Comment left on:
      May 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm
      Andrew says:

      Hey Gerry! So great to meet you! Looking forward to seeing you at the next FBLA event. :)

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