Mariam’s Sweet-and-Sour Dressing:
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup any mild vegetable oil, such as corn, canola, or peanut
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard (preferably American-style “ballpark,” not Dijon)
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons celery seed
¼ pound green beans, tipped, tailed, cooked tender-crisp, and cut into 1-inch lengths
¼ pound yellow wax beans, tipped, tailed, cooked tender-crisp, and cut into 1-inch lengths
1½ cups (one 15-ounce can) tender-cooked black beans, very well drained
1½ cups (one 15-ounce can) tender-cooked kidney beans, very well drained
1 red onion, sliced paper thin
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Combine the brown sugar and vinegar in a 1-quart jar with a tight-ﬁtting lid. Shake well and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Shake again; the sugar should dissolve into the vinegar. Add the remaining ingredients, shake well again, and serve over mixed beans.
Note: For extra sprightliness, replace the vinegar with freshly squeezed lemon juice, or go east with rice wine vinegar and a little grated fresh ginger.
- Place the beans and veggies in a large bowl, add the dressing, season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerator for at least 12 hours or up to 2 days. Serve with a slotted spoon to drain oﬀ the dressing. Pretty durned simple, yes?
Reprinted by permission from “Bean by Bean” by Crescent Dragonwagon.