Three Bean Salad with Dried Cranberries and Celery

Last week, while grocery shopping, I grabbed the ingredients to prep a large batch of my favorite bean salad, to eat throughout the week. I've been making this salad for years, at least since University, when I first discovered it at the local market.

I went to school in a small city located in the middle of miles and miles of farmland. Around the University, the streets were lined with fratty bars and nightclubs and the famous gyro truck that sold the most delicious garlic fries that would clear your sinuses for days. Because the area lacked dining options that didn't consist of greasy diner foods or meal cards, a few times a week I would head to the market and stop in at my favorite vendors including the lady who sold fresh homemade boreks and the lady who made the pad thai to order in a large wok heated by a propane burner. This was probably the culinary high point of my University experience.

When you first walked into the market, you entered smack dab into a large deli that sold various cheeses, fresh bread, pastries, and salads. I'm sure that I probably sampled everything on the menu over the years. My favorite salad was the three bean salad, one that I managed to recreate and put to memory. It's been one of those recipes that I've continued to make over the years, and I can't imagine ever tiring of it.

I like to make it the night before, allowing the garlic flavors to absorb into the beans. The dried cranberries add a nice sweet chewiness, and the celery and red pepper adds a crunch. The dressing is a simple mixture of oil, balsamic, maple syrup, garlic, salt, and pepper. I usually eyeball the ingredients to taste, but over the years I've had various requests for the recipe, so I thought it about time that I added it to this site. I hope you enjoy!


serves 6 - 8

prep time: 10 minutes

cooking time: n/a

1 - 15oz can of white beans

1 - 15oz can of garbanzo beans

1 - 15oz can of black beans

1 head of celery, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 cup dried cranberries

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup oil

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp maple syrup

salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the beans and add them to a large bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients and toss.

Cover the bowl and place in the fridge to let the salad marinate for a minimum of one hour, but preferably overnight.

Serve cold.

Can be stored in the fridge in a container with a tight-fitting lid for up to a week.