Two years ago for a BBQ, people were asking me to make a three-bean salad. The problem was, I couldn't make up my mind on which three beans I wanted to add into the salad. So, I added them all and developed a sweet and spicy balsamic vinaigrette to go with it. It became an instant hit at my house and now whenever green beans come into season I get requests for this unique bean salad.
1Fill a dutch oven with water and bring to a boil. Then place in the prepared green beans, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 7 - 8 minutes. The beans should be crisp. Once they're done, immediately drain the hot water and place the beans into an ice bath.
2Pour the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, wax beans and black beans into a colander and let them sit to drain.
3In a small bowl, blend together the garlic powder, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes, ground mustard, ground white pepper and ground black pepper. Whisk in the balsamic vinegar and continue whisking until well blended. Slowly pour in the olive oil, being sure to continue whisking until everything is blended nicely.
4Drain the green beans and pat them dry before adding them to your salad bowl.
5Add the rest of the beans to your green beans. Then add the chopped artichoke hearts and parsley. Toss together until everything is dispersed evenly throughout.
6Slowly add just enough of the dressing to evenly coat the beans and artichokes (a little more than half the dressing). Toss everything together to make sure everything is coated. Then cover the salad and place in the refrigerate to chill and marinate for at least 3 hours (or overnight).
Place the rest of the dressing in a container with a lid. It will keep for months in the refrigerator.
7Just before serving, check the dressing on the beans and add more as needed. You may also wish to add a little kosher salt, depending on your tastes. My husband sometimes adds a dash of soy sauce instead of salt. Then top with cherry tomato halves and crumbled feta cheese and serve cold.