Grandma’s Three Bean Salad


Isn’t it just fascinating how food memories work?  One morsel of food touches your tongue and you are whisked away to times gone by, to the exact moment when you consumed that particular piece of goodness.  That’s why each time I task three bean salad, I am brought back to Zanocco family 4th of July celebrations.  With this annual celebration always came laughing children singing (and yelling) the words to “Miss Mary Mack”, throw-and-pop firecrackers and sparklers, olive dip, and of course, three bean salad.

I dug through my recipe box last week and found Grandma Zanocco’s three bean salad recipe.  Looking over the hand-written recipe card, I wondered if I could perhaps make it a bit healthier, while maintaining the integrity of the dish.  With a bit of tasting here, and help from my sous-chef there, I think I’ve done it.  I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did, and I hope it helps to create some wonderful new food memories for all of you 🙂


Grandma’s Three Bean Salad

(You can use canned beans, or dried beans.  Just be sure that if you use dried beans, they have already been soaked and are fork tender.)

4 cups kidney beans

4 cups pinto beans

4 cups black beans

Pour all of your beans in a large bowl and set aside.

In a food processor, pulse 1 cup diced yellow onions.  Then add 1 cup olive oil, 1 cup Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and 3/4 cup raw agave syrup.  Pulse the mixture a few times in your food processor until you have a reasonably smooth dressing.

Pour your dressing over your bean mixture, and allow to sit at room temperature for about an hour before serving.  You can garnish your salad with a little oregano or parsley if you wish.  Enjoy!


*A note about all my recipes:  I use all organic ingredients, local when available.  I use non-homogenized milk, and all of the dairy we use is from animals raised on pasture. I also use oils that are non-GMO verified.  All our meat is raised locally on organic feed, and our beef is grass-fed, grass-finished.  All our spices and cane sugar are fair-trade certified and purchased through a cooperative.

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