Three-bean salad is a perennial picnic favorite because it’s easy to throw together and it tastes good at almost any temperature. Our take tosses a colorful array of beans, radishes, and capers in a sherry vinaigrette for a great balance of sweet, briny, and sour—a far cry from its salad bar kin.
What to buy: Dried beans can be substituted for the canned beans if you prefer. Use 1 1/2 cups cooked beans for each 15-ounce can of beans called for.
Game plan: If you are making the salad ahead of time, toss the radishes in right before serving to prevent them from losing their color.
- 1Prepare an ice water bath by filling a bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add green beans and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Strain beans and plunge the strainer into the water bath until the beans are cool. Remove beans from the water bath and spread out on a clean kitchen towel or a paper towel to dry.
- 2When green beans are cool, transfer to a large bowl and add radishes, cannellini beans, and kidney beans; set aside.
- 3Combine shallot, vinegar, capers, parsley, and sugar in a medium nonreactive bowl. While whisking continuously, add oil in a steady stream until completely incorporated. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- 4Add vinaigrette to bean mixture and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed. Serve at room temperature or chilled.