Classic Three-Bean Salad

Classic Three-Bean Salad

From Cook’s Illustrated. Published: July 1, 1999

Serves 8 to 10


1 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 medium cloves garlic , minced
1 teaspoon table salt
Ground black pepper
8 ounces green beans , cut into 1-inch-long pieces
8 ounces yellow wax beans , cut into 1-inch-long pieces
1 (16-ounce) can red kidney beans , rinsed and drained
1/2 medium red onion , chopped medium
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves


  1. Heat vinegar, sugar, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste in small nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large nonreactive bowl and cool to room temperature.

  2. Bring 3 quarts water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and green and yellow beans; cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, fill medium bowl with ice water. When beans are done, drain and immediately plunge into ice water to stop cooking process; let sit until chilled, about 2 minutes. Drain well.

  3. Add green and yellow beans, kidney beans, onion, and parsley to vinegar mixture; toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight to let flavors meld. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. (Salad can be covered and refrigerated up to 4 days.)