What’s cooking today: Three bean & three pepper salad

What’s cooking today: Three bean & three pepper salad
Three bean and three pepper salad. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Using some of the brine from the cans of beans in this take on an old-fashioned South African three bean salad makes for a dressing with a pleasing zing. Great for a summer salad either as a meal in itself or as a side dish.


1 x 410 g can butterbeans

1 x 410 g can red kidney beans

1 x 400 g can chickpeas

20 (or so) green beans

¼ cheek each of 1 red, 1 green and 1 orange (or yellow) pepper (capsicum), diced

1 celery stick, diced

2 garlic cloves, dehusked and chopped finely

2 red chillies, seeds and veins removed, chopped finely

3 Tbsp each of the brine from the butterbeans and red kidney beans (but not the chickpea brine)

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp hot English mustard

Salt and pepper


Top and tail the green beans. Bring water to the boil in a deep pot. Chuck the beans in and boil hard for 2 minutes. Drain into a colander and immediately run cold water through it (ice too if you like). Drain and set aside.

Spoon off 3 Tbsp each of the brine from the butterbeans and red kidney beans’ cans into a small bowl. Drain the rest of the beans and the chickpeas (you don’t need the brine from the chickpeas, it’s too cloudy and somewhat bitter). Put the drained beans and chickpeas in a mixing bowl.

Remove seeds and veins from the chillies and chop the rest. Add chillies to the brine. Finely chop the garlic cloves and add to the brine, which will be the start of your dressing. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and mustard. Season with salt and pepper, stir, and leave it aside for the flavours to develop while you make the rest of the salad.

Cut one quarter of each capsicum off (i.e. one of its four sections) and put the balance in the fridge. Dice the peppers, and celery and add to the beans in the mixing bowl. Chop the green beans and add them.

Pour the dressing over, toss, and spoon it into a good looking salad bowl for serving.

It will keep well for two or three days in the fridge, covered in cling wrap. DM/TGIFood

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