FOUR BEAN SALAD (for eight to ten)
“…the quintessential picnic salad. The quality of canned beans is obviously important. Look for brands with smaller, firmer beans.”
1 cup canned red kidney beans
1 cup canned white beans, such as cannellini, Great Northern, or white kidney
1 cup canned chick peas
1 cup canned black beans
1 cup finely chopped scallions or finely minced red onion
1 small clove garlic, crushed to a paste with ½ teaspoon salt, more to taste
½ teaspoon dry mustard
2 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt if necessary
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced dill
thin onion rings and lemon wedges for garnish (optional)
1.All beans should be rinsed of their canning liquid: place them in a strainer or colander and let cold water run through them until they are clear and shiny. Drain thoroughly.
2. Place the beans in a large bowl, along with the scallions, crushed garlic, mustard, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and the olive oil. Toss gently with a wooden spoon until all the beans are well coated with dressing. Add salt, pepper, garlic, oil and/or lemon juice if needed. Gently fold in the dill.
3. Let stand in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving, tossing gently once or twice to distribute the dressing. (If refrigerated for more than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving.)
4. Put the beans in a serving dish and garnish with the onion rings and lemon wedges, if desired.
from Amanda Hesser, The New York Times Cookbook