Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Four Bean Salad #recipe by @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  We started the week here at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen celebrating the salad in its many forms, from the starter green salad to the side salad and meal salad. The Three Bean Salad is a summer classic, cool and refreshing with a bit of crunch and color, and very little actual cooking required. 

It’s also really flexible, as my version demonstrates. Looking at my handwriting on the recipe card, I must have scribbled it out in my college days, when I first had my own kitchen and was first responsible for cooking what I ate! I try to make it at least once a summer, and it’s great for picnics and potlucks. 

Beans are one of the few canned foods I use, and even prefer to cooking from dried, mainly because of the time involved. The lightly pickled flavor, and the contrast of sweet and sour, make this particularly tasty on a hot day. Add a little protein on the side -- or not, a little crusty bread, and glass of something you enjoy -- and enjoy!

Four Bean Salad 

1 pound cut green beans (fresh or frozen)

1-15 ounce can red kidney beans

1-15 ounce can garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas)

1-15 ounce can wax beans (fresh or frozen are equally good if you can find them)

½ red onion, sliced thin

3/4 cup white sugar

2/3 cup vinegar (I use 1/3 cup red wine and 1/3 cup white wine vinegar)

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

scant ½ cup olive oil

basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

Cook the green beans. Rinse and drain the canned beans and combine the beans and onion in a large bowl. 

Make the dressing. Stir together the sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper, then whisk in the olive oil. Pour over the beans and stir well to combine.

Stack 4-5 basil leaves and roll, then slice. Scatter the basil ribbons on to the top of the salad and serve.

This salad keeps well, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for several days. 

Serves 8-10. 

What's your favorite summer salad? Are you a fan of the lightly pickled taste of a marinated salad?

From the cover of BITTERROOT LAKE, written as Alicia Beckman (April 2021 from Crooked Lane Books in hardcover, ebook, and audio): 

When four women separated by tragedy reunite at a lakeside Montana lodge, murder forces them to confront everything they thought they knew about the terrifying accident that tore them apart, in Agatha Award-winning author Alicia Beckman's suspense debut.

Twenty-five years ago, during a celebratory weekend at historic Whitetail Lodge, Sarah McCaskill had a vision. A dream. A nightmare. When a young man was killed, Sarah's guilt over having ignored the warning in her dreams devastated her. Her friendships with her closest friends, and her sister, fell apart as she worked to build a new life in a new city. But she never stopped loving Whitetail Lodge on the shores of Bitterroot Lake.

Now that she's a young widow, her mother urges her to return to the lodge for healing. But when she arrives, she's greeted by an old friend--and by news of a murder that's clearly tied to that tragic day she'll never forget.

And the dreams are back, too. What dangers are they warning of this time? As Sarah and her friends dig into the history of the lodge and the McCaskill family, they uncover a legacy of secrets and make a discovery that gives a chilling new meaning to the dreams. Now, they can no longer ignore the ominous portents from the past that point to a danger more present than any of them could know.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries, and the winner of Agatha Awards in three categories. Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, won Best First Novel in 2013, following her 2011 win in Best Nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. Watch for her first standalone suspense novel, Bitterroot Lake (written as Alicia Beckman) in April 2021 from Crooked Lane Books.

A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by her website and subscribe to her seasonal newsletter, for a chat about the writing life, what she's working on, and  what she's reading -- and a free short story. And join her on Facebook where she shares book news and giveaways from her writer friends, and talks about food, mysteries, and the things that inspire her.


  1. My favorite summer salad is the chef salad. Having a garden with lots of fresh veggies, not only is it a great way to use lots of them, but it's also a fabulous and easy meal to make.

    Although not a big fan of pickled salads, I do like them in small servings as a side dish from time to time.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Love chef's salads! Wish I had your garden, but I've not been a good gardener the last few years.

  2. Love the colorful assortment.
    Somehow wax beans have never been part of my dining experience.

    1. LOL! I can't think of any other recipe where I use them or any other dish where I've eaten them, but they do go well here!

  3. Hi Leslie! I love anything with beans and salad as well. This recipe looks delicious for a hot summer afternoon.

  4. I love a seafood pasta salad in the summer - crab, vegetables, pasta & vinaigrette dressing.

  5. Back in the 60s I made Five Bean Salad a lot for summer potlucks. My recipe also contained lima beans. I don't really know anyone who likes lima beans. If I ever make it again, I'll leave them out and call it Four Bean Salad like yours!

    1. Too funny! My old recipe card lists optional additions and one is Lima Beans, but I'm kinda with you about them!

  6. I really love how colorful this is.