Summer Bean Salad with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette

Summer Bean Salad | Weeknight Meal #recipe via @CookSmartsYou know that saying, “You eat with your eyes first”? It’s a very true quote, and something that all chefs and cooks should keep in mind when preparing food. After all, something might taste good, but if you look at it, and it’s a big brown pile of mush, chances are you already lost your appetite before you even got a taste.

But now take a look at our recipe this week – a colorful, vibrant salad with a bunch of veggies and different textures. Now is this something you can dig into? Oh, yeah. Definitely.

“This was amazing!! Definitely going to put this into a regular meal rotation!”
-Krista

Summer Bean Salad | Weeknight Meal #recipe via @CookSmarts

Just one look at this salad and it’s as if you can already taste the crisp cucumbers, the soft kidney beans, the crunchy almonds, and the burst of juiciness from the cherry tomatoes.

And guess what? Your eyes do not deceive you. This salad tastes as good as it looks, and it is the perfect dinner to keep you cool on a hot summer night. Other than hard boiling eggs (which we add to the salad to make it heartier), there’s no cooking needed to make this entree salad. And even then, hard-boiled eggs cook so quickly!

“So easy and such a great cold meal for summer.”
-Karen

All you have to do is a bit of chopping and whip together a quick homemade vinaigrette, and before you know it, dinner is ready and waiting.

More refreshing entree salads for the summer:

For More Smarts:

When hard boiling eggs, use older eggs so they’ll be easier to peel.

Prepping Smarts:

Don’t be intimated by all the veggie-chopping in this recipe. We show you easy and efficient ways to prep these veggies with the videos below, so that you can spend less time chopping and more time eating.


Equipment Smarts:

One of the most important tools in our kitchen is a whisk. Not only is it inexpensive, it also makes it easy to make a quick vinaigrette whenever we want, without having to resort to the store-bought stuff.

Buy this Oxo Good Grips Whisk

The only cooking you’ll be doing for this recipe is making hard-boiled eggs. Use a saucepan like this one to cook your eggs to perfection:

Buy this 3 quart sauce pan from Calphalon on Amazon

For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our ‘Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools’

Summer Bean Salad with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette
Author: Jess Dang
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
This salad pulls together a melange of colorful and healthy ingredients for a hearty but light meal. Covered in a creamy balsamic vinaigrette, you’ll have a simple, flavorful salad.
Ingredients
  • Ingredients
  • Eggs – 4, hard-boiled
  • Cherry tomatoes – 1 pint, halved
  • English cucumber – 1, sliced or chopped (Or sub 3 Persian or 1 regular)
  • Shallots – 1 bulb, thinly sliced
  • Kidney beans (14 oz / 397 g can) – 1 can, rinsed and drained
  • Balsamic vinegar – 3 Tbsp
  • Sour cream – 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Maple syrup – 1 Tbsp
  • Cooking oil – 1/4 cup
  • Salt and pepper – to taste
  • Sliced almonds – 1/4 cup
  • Baby spinach – 6 oz
Instructions
Prep
  1. Eggs – Place week-old eggs into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Sprinkle in some salt. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Let stand for 11 to 12 minutes. Rinse in cold water and peel when cool enough to touch. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  2. Tomatoes / Cucumbers / Shallots – Prep as directed.
  3. Kidney beans – Rinse and drain.
  4. Eggs – Chop.
  5. Make vinaigrette – Whisk together balsamic vinegar, sour cream, maple syrup, and oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
Make
  1. Toss eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, shallots, kidney beans, almonds, and baby spinach with vinaigrette together.
3.3.3070

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