Fresh, jhatpat and easy Three Bean Salad with walnuts and pomegranate is one of my favorite salads ever!! The crunch of fresh green or French beans along with high-protein legumes like kidney, black-eyed peas along with red onions and pomegranate in a sweet vinegary dressing makes it a healthy low fat super tasty salad; perfect make ahead for any party, picnic or as an everyday side dish.
My whole family knows my obsession with salad bars. Whichever part of US I would visit, I would first try to find out whether there is a salad bar nearby.
Now salad bars are restaurants which serve an array of salads; mixed ahead salads like pasta, potato, three bean, coleslaw etc. along with a plethora of chopped fresh vegetables. The enticing rows of dressings and extra toppings served alongside add to the allure, not to mention mind boggling varieties of breads, muffins and soups!!
They are normally buffets so we make sure that we are really hungry to do full justice to the awesome spread. Three-bean salad is always on the menu at all these places.
This salad is a classic combination of fresh green beans, cooked till crisp tender (boiled and shocked in an ice bath to maintain color and crunch), ruby red kidney beans (rajma) and my favorite black eyed peas or beans cooked until tender but not mushy. Many a times, I have used garbanzo beans/chickpeas instead of black eyed beans and love that too!
Although it is way easy to just open up a can of beans and use it, I love to make my own; just needs some preplanning. I have never been fond of any canned food because of all the chemicals and preservatives added! But if you do need to use them, make sure to drain and rinse well before using.
I have added freshly diced red onions and green onions for additional flavor and crunch along with chopped bell pepper and healthy walnuts too! To sweeten the whole bowl and add some color and make it more healthy, I had a large pomegranate lying on my counter waiting to be used, so in they went these gorgeous pearls of nutrition!
For the dressing, it was a classic vinaigrette – olive oil with vinegar (some prefer red wine vinegar, but I had some white vinegar in my pantry), finely grated garlic, salt, mustard paste (you can use Dijon or any other you fancy; totally optional but gives an amazing zing to the dressing!), a dash of Italian seasoning (my favorite!) and sugar or even better honey! I have used a similar dressing in my spinach, apple and walnut salad too!
Just dump these in a jar and shake well to emulsify all of it together; that is it! Drizzle it over the mixture of beans and vegetables (as much or as little as you want) and toss well to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or best overnight to allow the flavors to permeate the salad and give it an amazing taste! Keep tossing them in between and adjust seasonings too.
The longer this sits in the refrigerator, the better the flavor! Enjoy it with your family; I am sure everyone will love it! Add some cooked pasta like macaroni or shell and your kids will devour this healthy, nutritious salad in no time!
Make this amazingly easy, super tasty, healthy and nutritious salad today!
- ½ cup cooked kidney beans/rajma (or used canned, but rinse thoroughly)
- ½ cup cooked black eyed peas
- ½ cup cut green beans
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate pearls
- ¼ cup chopped green onions
- ¼ cup chopped red onions
- 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil (or any salad oil)
- 2 tablespoon vinegar (white or red)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp prepared mustard/Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- Black Pepper powder (optional)
- Boil a pot of water and once it comes to a boil, toss in 1 tsp salt and stir in the green beans. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes until crisp tender (do not overcook). Immediately, drain and place in a bowl of ice cold water with ice. This stops the cooking process and maintains the bright green color of the green beans.
- In a glass jar with a tight fitting lid, combine all the dressing ingredients: oil, vinegar, salt, sugar, mustard, Italian seasoning and garlic. Add pepper if desired. Shake well for at least 20 seconds to allow the mixture to emulsify into a tangy, sweet and salty vinaigrette. Taste and adjust seasonings according to how sweet, tangy or salty you want it!
- Transfer the green beans to a large bowl along with kidney beans, black eyed beans, green onions, bell pepper, walnuts and red onions.
- Drizzle the dressing over and stir in some pomegranate pearls. Toss well to coat the salad. Do a taste test and add more dressing if needed.
- Cover the bowl and place in the fridge to chill thoroughly for at least 2 to 3 hours or even overnight. Toss in between to distribute the dressing and add more seasonings or salt if needed.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature with additional dressing.
- You can use any kind of beans like northern beans, garbanzo beans or chickpeas, black beans etc. and add as much or as little as you want. Fresh green beans is a must.
- Add some grated carrots or any other vegetable you like for more color and nutrition.
- If you like a sweeter salad, you can add more sugar or even honey.
- Substitute with any seasoning you like; oregano, roasted cumin powder, black salt etc.
- Another option is to add chopped dates instead of pomegranate.
- Mix in some pasta like macaroni, shell etc. and your kids will devour this healthy bowl in no time!
If you love salads, you must try:
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