Cool Beans: Bean Salads to Unite Us All

Summer isn’t the most fun time for vegans to eat with their non-vegan friends. Cookouts and picnics tend to be all about grilled meats, leaving the vegans to pick at a pickle sandwich while others are piling their plates with hamburgers and mayonnaise-laden sides. In response to Bryn’s brilliant article, I’ve created a couple of bean salads that will please members of both camps and promote herbivore/carnivore unity. I recently tried them on my foolhardy test group of vegans and omnivores, and everyone was holding hands and singing “We Are the World” by dessert. But that might have had something to do with the sangria.

Italian White Bean and Tomato Salad

Makes 4 cups, about 8 servings.

Time: 15 minutes

Adapted from Jolinda Hackett,

You will need:

2  14oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

2 T. olive oil

1 shallot, thinly sliced (1/3 C. red onion is fine as well.)

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

4 Roma tomatoes, deseeded and chopped

1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped

2 T. red wine vinegar

1 t. lemon juice

Salt and ground white pepper to taste

In a skillet over medium heat, combine olive oil, shallot, garlic, beans and parsley. Sauté for just a few minutes to allow the flavors to combine and the onions to soften. Remove from heat; add tomatoes, olives, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Don’t over mix or the beans will get mushy. Serve warm or at room temperature. Especially nice with pita triangles.



Edamame and Grilled Corn salad

Makes 6 cups, about 10-12 servings

Time: 25 minutes

I think of this as the Asian version of Ailanthus-altissima’s salsa’s cousin. It uses edamame in place of black beans, plus grilled corn and bottled salad dressing. (Don’t judge. I tried a simple homemade vinaigrette, but it just wasn’t spunky enough to stand up to the starch of the beans.)

You will need:

1 12oz. bag frozen shelled edamame beans, defrosted.

4 ears fresh corn

Olive oil

2 red peppers, chopped

1/3 cup minced red onion

2 fresh chilies, minced

½ cup pickled jalapeno slices, chopped

½ bottle of vegan-approved Italian salad dressing

Rub corn with olive oil and grill over high heat, turning every five minutes, until nice and grill-streaked. Remove and cool, then cut off kernels. (If you are without a grill, or the inclination to stand over a hot grill, feel free to substitute 2 cups thawed frozen corn.) Mix with edamame, chopped red peppers, onion, chilies and jalapeno. Pour salad dressing over everything and mix. Chill for 2-3 hours to allow the flavors to blend.



5 replies on “Cool Beans: Bean Salads to Unite Us All”

I have made the Edamame and Grilled Corn Salad twice now. Everyone loves it. On a lazier day, I didn’t grill the corn and it was still a crowd pleaser. I have served it to people of all ages from the first decade of life ( age 8)to the 7 th and all in between.

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