Thursday, 12 January 2023

Beating the Heat with a Summery Mixed Bean Salad


Dear Friends, Reach into your pantry, hunt down that tin of Mixed Beans, and whip up this simple bean salad. This salad serves 4-6 people. If you are doubling the quantities, use a red and a green capsicum, as the two colours look attractive and give a nice contrast in flavours. I just love the tang of this salad in Summer. I originally made this just with white Cannellini beans and it was delicious, so it is versatile regardless of what type of beans you choose. I have also lightly blanched some green beans, and added them chopped to the mix as well. Whilst I love a healthy grain salad at the best of times, this bean salad requires no cooking at all, such a bonus at this time of year.

Happy New Year to you all. We are just back from our Summer holidays at the Gold Coast and I am gradually easing back into cooking, blogging and everything really. January is such a transition period, don't you think? Did I say cooking? Up until yesterday, we were experiencing maximum temperatures here at home of 35 deg. C. with high humidity, so salads and easily prepared meals involving little to no cooking were my preference. That's how this recipe came about, as during the heatwave I was craving something really tasty, a little bit sweet, sour and tart that required no cooking. However, thank goodness the heavens have opened up and the heat has been followed by very heavy rain today, over 100 mm, which we just love. Hopefully there won't be any serious flooding. It's predicted to continue over the next few days.  The heat and humidity came as a bit of a shock to us after a cool beach holiday at the beautiful Gold Coast, and Gold Coast hinterland in Southern Queensland. 

These are photos of Tugun beach on the Gold Coast, with the Life Guard Tower on the right, complete with cute Christmas decorations and solar panels. We found this to be the best swimming beach, and whilst our holiday accommodation wasn't at this beach, Mr. HRK swam here during family holidays as a child. The rule is to always swim between the flags. The Life Savers (Guards) do a wonderful job looking after swimmers and surfers on the beaches at this time of year.

This is how I make my Mixed Bean Salad.
Serves 4-6

400g (1-16oz) can Mixed Beans (or any white bean such as Cannellini if you prefer)
1 red or green capsicum, or use half of each for colour
2 spring onions, finely chopped or 1/2 medium very fresh brown onion 
1 large tomato, deseeded and finely chopped
6 tbsp. good quality red wine vinegar (I used Jamie Oliver)
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
salt to taste
1 clove garlic finely chopped(optional)

(Preparation time 10 minutes)

  1. Rinse and drain the can of beans
  2. Chop the capsicum and spring onions very finely and place into a medium size mixing bowl. Add the beans and any other fresh salad ingredients that you choose and mix it all together.
  3. Mix together the red wine vinegar, the olive oil, and whisk with a small whisk to emulsify.  Add the salt, a light grinding of black pepper, and pour into the beans. Taste it and adjust the seasoning if necessary, although the flavours will develop so you could do this closer to serving the salad.
  4. If you have some very fresh garlic and you love it, peel and mince 1 clove of garlic, and add it to the mixture and stir. 
  5. There is plenty of dressing for this salad so if you wish to add a few extra salad ingredients, see my notes below for ideas, then there will be plenty of dressing for a larger salad.
  6. Add a teaspoon of mustard and a little sugar to the dressing if that is more to your taste for a vinaigrette dressing.
  7. If you are entertaining dinner guests, the whole recipe can also be mixed together early on the day of serving and kept in the refrigerator, so that is one less thing to do close to the event. 

Cook's notes:
  • Omit the tomato if you wish, it wasn't in my original recipe, but I like tomato in this salad.
  • This salad is perfect just with the ingredients listed above. I am always careful not to add to many ingredients to recipes however with salads, which are so versatile, it is generally quite simple to add extra ingredients that you have on hand. Add 2 celery sticks for some extra crunch, and if you intend to serve all of this in one sitting, add some finely chopped cucumber just before serving if you wish.  However, the cucumber won't last well in the salad if refrigerated.
  • Add some herbs such as chopped fresh tarragon and chopped fresh parsley for extra flavour.
  • The quantities can easily be doubled to serve more people. A tin of extra chickpeas can be added, and another chopped capsicum of a different colour, green or yellow.
  • Leftovers will keep well covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, and even improve in flavour. Unlike some fresh salads which wilt after adding a dressing and being refrigerated, this one will last beautifully.

We ate this salad last night with my delicious Rustic Greek Halloumi and Spinach Pie that I love to make and eat. It's very easy to bring together and it had started raining so the kitchen was cool, bliss.

 I needed to use up some frozen spinach and halloumi so it was a perfect match, and ideal for a vegetarian meat free Monday, even though it wasn't Monday. This salad also contrasts perfectly served with Spanish chicken and chorizo casserole. However, it can stand on it's own just served with a green salad.  I would also happily serve it with any Mexican style meals.

Thanks for dropping by,
Have a great weekend, 

I'm adding a little p.s. to my post today, as I'm having trouble replying to your comments but I am reading them, and trying to catch up on your lovely comments on previous posts. Hopefully Blogger will rectify this problem . After all it is Friday the 13th. Take care everyone.


  1. Simple, quick and very tasty, esp. if one enjoys beans. Beautiful beach photos.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. Thanks Angie, I really enjoy beans in most things.

  2. I've been eating lots of legumes lately. Chickpea, mung beans, all sorts of beans. I often cook them, but I should try your recipe. It looks delicious and really colorful.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Hi Nil, it's so good to hear from you. Are you still writing any posts, I haven't seen them. Yes legumes are so beneficial on so many levels, and environmentally friendly as well. Happy New Year!

  4. Pauline, I love salads like this. So easy. Glad you had a nice time at the beach. It must be about five years since I have been to the beach and I miss it. Have a great year. Chel (Going Grey and Slightly Green)

    1. Hi Chel, we were in Toowoomba last week visiting Neil's sister, and I thought of you, what a gracious city it is. Thanks for your comment, and hope your year goes well too.

  5. I do love a bean salad but garlic is never optional (tee hee). And your pie looks fabulous too. Blogger is always such a stinker when it comes to commenting!! Hope your year is going well.

    1. Thanks Sherry, so far our year is going well, taking it easy. I always like to include garlic too.

  6. This looks really good. I would add tomatoes also so I am going to bookmark this for summertime when tomatoes are delicious.

  7. I wish we were trying to beat the heat where I live! Still, I think I'd have these beans any time of year!

    1. You really could Jeff, I would eat it most nights if I could with our meals.

  8. I am not a bean salad fan but during the heatwave, cold dishes are a must! Glad you had a good holiday and hopefully the weather normalises soon :)

  9. I love this kind of salad recipe especially in the hot summer months. Thanks

  10. It's Judee from Gluten Free A-Z blog in the previous comment

  11. Thanks for the "optional" garlic - definitely doesn't need it! I am saving this for our summer - we love a good bean salad!


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