I’ve got the perfect dish for your next party or potluck. Heck, this Italian bean salad is the perfect side for your next meal. It’s quick, easy, vegan and gluten free. And by “quick,” I’m talking five minutes. Yes!
Plus, it’s heart healthy and so addictive. We crave this three-bean salad. (My hubby and I had to cut ourselves off after 1 1/2 servings each at lunch the other day, since we were going out that night. Because…you know…beans.)
Anyhow, all you have to do is mix your favorite trio of beans with fresh parsley, olive oil, white vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I used great northern, chickpeas and black beans.
I have to admit, I feel awkward and self conscious saying “chickpeas,” or “garbanzo” beans. They both refer to what Italians call “ceci” (chay-chee) beans. “Chickpeas” sounds so misleading. And isn’t Garbanzo a Muppets character? Oh, wait…that’s Gonzo. Never mind.
Apparently, I’ve lived in an Italian bubble most of my life. I remember the first time I needed to buy ceci at the grocery store. It was years ago, way before the Internet was at our fingertips. I scanned the shelves of beans up and down, not finding them anywhere. I noticed a can of chickpeas with a photo of what looked like ceci, but I wasn’t sure what they were. So, I called Mom. (Before Google, there was Mom.)
“Mom, I can’t find ceci beans. But I found these chickpeas with a picture that looks just like ceci.”
“In America, they’re called chickpeas,” Mom told me.
Since I was born in the United States and have lived here my whole life, it probably would’ve been helpful to know the English terms for ceci and other Italian foods before I turned 30. So, to any young, first-generation, Italian Americans out there: Call me before you go grocery shopping on your own.
(Recipe Source: Inspired by my aunt’s Italian bean salad)
- 1 15-ounce can great northern beans (or cannellini)
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)
- 1 15-ounce can black beans
- 1/4 cup fresh snipped parsley
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- In a fine mesh strainer or colander, drain and rinse your beans with cold water. Add your beans to a medium bowl.
- Rinse some fresh parsley and snip the leaves off the stems until you can measure out 1/4 cup of loosely packed parsley. Add the parsley to your bowl of beans.
- In a liquid measuring cup, add your vinegar, olive oil and seasonings. Whisk them to blend, then pour the dressing over the beans. Toss the bean salad with two spoons to mix it.
- Serve the bean salad at room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 5-6 days.