By Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Helene Siegel, Cesare Casella, Jack Bishop, Tom Lacalamita, Heather Dismore, Martin Yan, Dede Wilson, Joan H. Moravek, Kristin Eddy

In this recipe, you jazz up a typical American-style bean salad with three different beans and a colorful confetti of diced peppers. This versatile salad is a great choice for a buffet table or picnic because it can remain out without wilting. Or serve it as an accompaniment to a full-flavored entrée like ribs or fried chicken.

[Credit: © shepherd]
Credit: © shepherd

Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus 2 hours chilling

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

1 red bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper

1 poblano chile

1⁄2 cup olive oil

1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon pepper

1 small red onion, finely diced

1 cup canned, drained black beans

1 cup canned, drained pinto beans

1 cup canned, drained red beans or kidney beans

1⁄2 bunch cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped (1⁄4 cup)

  1. Core and seed the bell peppers and poblano and cut them into 1⁄4-inch cubes. The pepper and chile cubes should be similar to the size of the cooked beans.

  2. To make the dressing, in a large bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss in the diced peppers, chile, onion, beans, and cilantro, and mix well. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight before serving.

For more color and a little extra sweetness, try adding whole kernel corn as shown in the image.

If you have a smoker, try smoking the beans for Fiesta Bean Salad. A chipotle chile pureed into the dressing emphasizes the smokiness of the beans, giving the whole salad a heartier taste.