Elliott’s Favorite Three Bean and Corn Salad

I created this recipe for Elliott when he briefly went on a low-cholesterol diet, because he so loves beans and highly seasoned food and never feels he’s missing something when he eats this dish. But now I make it several times each summer because the frdsh corn in season adds a touch of both color and sweetness we wouldn’t want to do without.

This salad is a delicious one-dish meal to have with friends for a summer luncheon.

Marinating time: at least 2 hours

Most beans (see Pointers for Success) must be soaked before cooking, either overnight or with the quick-soaking method.

KEEPS: Leftover bean salad freezes well for up to 3 months but the pasta should be removed as its texture alters.
TO SOAK 8 HOURS OR OVERNIGHT: Place the beans in a cool spot. If soaking overnight, refrigerate to keep the beans from fermenting.
TO QUICK-SOAK: Bring the beans to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Cover, remove from the heat and allow to sit for 1 hour.
INGREDIENTS MEASURE WEIGHT
volume ounces grams
dried black beans cups 8 ounces 227 grams
dried chick-peas scant cup 4 ounces 113 grams
dried flageolets* scant cup 4 ounces 113 grams
salt ¾ teaspoon
fusilli pasta cups 4 ounces 113 grams
fresh cooked corn, cut off the cob (3 medium ears) cups 9 ounces 255 grams
1 medium onion, chopped cups 6.75 ounces 191 grams
18 half pieces sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained (2 tablespoons oil reserved) and chopped ¾ cup 3.5 ounces 100 grams
Vinaigrette
olive oil ¼ liquid cup
cider vinegar 3 tablespoons
sugar a pinch
cayenne pepper a sprinkling
black pepper, freshly ground ½ teaspoon
salt 1 teaspoon 0.25 ounce 6.7 grams
Dijon mustard teaspoons 0.3 ounce 9 grams
garlic, minced (3 medium cloves) 4 teaspoons 0.5 ounce 14 grams
fresh basil, minced 2 tablespoons 10 grams
fresh parsley, preferably flat-leafed, minced 2 tablespoons 0.25 ounce 7 grams
OPTIONAL: fresh basil sprigs, for garnish

*These French beans are available in specialty food stores such as Dean & DeLuca. If desired, they can be replaced by additional black beans. Do not use pea beans or navy beans as they tend to be slightly pasty when cold.

Method

Wash the beans and pick out and discard any stones or shriveled beans. Place each type of bean in a separate medium saucepan and add unsalted water to cover by 2 inches.

When ready to cook, drain off the water, rinse the beans and add fresh unsalted water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook at a bare simmer, partially covered, until the beans are just tender but still firm. Add more water if necessary so that the beans are always covered. Test a bean by cutting it in half to see if it is cooked through. Flageolets take from 20 to as long as 75 minutes, black beans 30 to 45 minutes and chick-peas 45 to 55 minutes. Remove the beans from the heat and add ¼ teaspoon salt to each pan. Allow the beans to cool completely in the cooking liquid. (Or drain most of the liquid from the beans and cover them with plastic wrap to prevent cracking.)

Cook the pasta in lightly salted boiling water as per the package directions, 8 to 9 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water and drain again.

Place the well-drained pasta in a medium bowl. Add the corn, onion and sundried tomatoes and mix together.

In a 3-quart bowl, whisk together the reserved sun-dried tomato oil and all the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Add the bean mixture and mix until evenly coated with the vinaigrette. Cover the bowl tightly and set aside for 2 hours at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 3 days, stirring occasionally. If the salad has been refrigerated, bring to room temperature before serving. Shortly before serving, garnish with fresh basil sprigs if desired.

Pressure Cooker Method

This is a speedy way to cook dried beans but because cooking time varies with each batch, start with the minimum time and then continue final cooking without pressure until tender. Soak the beans as above. Bring the pressure cooker up to full pressure and cook for 10 minutes. Stop the pressure at once by running cold water over the lid. Test a bean by cutting it in half to see if it is cooked through. Continue cooking if necessary until tender.

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