For as long as beans have been in my life, I’ve eaten bean salad. My mother made it with canned beans and bottled Italian dressing. Stoic’s mother made a big batch once when she and his father were leaving town on a trip, and Stoic ended up ice skating on bean salad after he dropped the huge Tupperware container, taking it out of the fridge.
But this is something different and better, and I do not say that lightly. I found the recipe for Ginnie’s Bean Salad in the May 2017 issue of Our State magazine. About the same time Howards’ sweet corn came in up the road.
This morning I decided to use three fresh ears of corn instead of the can of white shoepeg corn, called for in the recipe. Then I thought, wait, unless that’s cooked, it’s going to make the dish milky-looking. So I sliced off the kernels from the cobs and tossed them in a skillet with 2 teaspoons of real, actual, live butter (unsalted). I cooked the fool out of them, scraping up wonderful brown, burny stuff that tastes like candy because the corn is so sweet.
Long story a little less long, Stoic took a taste and “mmmmmm-ed” and said, “That’s like the best part of pimiento cheese.”
See what I did there? I made changes based on knowledge of my ingredients, the root of all good cooking if you are to believe Samin Nosrat, which I do. Know what you’re cooking with and think a recipe through before you begin cooking.
So here’s Ginnie’s sublime salad. Recipe says it makes 6 servings, but I’m saying 1.5!!!!
Ginnie’s Bean Salad
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar (I took it down by a third)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon salt (yes, it’s hot outside!)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 14.5-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, same
1 can chickpeas or garbanzos, same
1 can white shoepeg corn or 3 ears fresh sweet corn
2 teaspoons sweet butter if you’re using fresh corn
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
In little bowl, whisk together vinegar and sugar. continue whisking, slowly add canola oil. Whisk in salt and pepper, and set aside.
If you’re using fresh sweet corn strip the kernels from the cobs and saute in the butter. Stir occasionally, but don’t be afraid to let them brown. Really brown.
In your serving bowl, mix rinsed and drained beans, corn, bell pepper and parsley. Pour dressing (use spatula to get every drop of dressing) over beans and toss. Cover and refrigerate for minimum of 4 hours. After 2 hours, re-toss so dressing coats all ingredients.