Bean salads have been in cookbooks since the 1800s. Every family has a favorite version. Any type of bean can be used and often in combination. This recipe uses cooked navy beans instead of green or kidney beans. The other ingredients are the standard items often found in summer salads; onions, pickles, hard boiled eggs and a vinegar and oil or a boiled salad dressing.
Salads that combine vegetables with beans, potato or pasta are often a main component of summer meals, picnics and social gatherings. A summer meal in the 1950s often consisted of a substantial cold salad (potato, pasta, chicken, fish), bread and butter, and fruit or ice cream for dessert. In the centuries before air conditioning and other cooling devices were invented lighter meals were the standard in hot weather. No one felt like cooking or eating.
The recipe will serve 4 to 6.
- 3 cups of cooked navy beans, drained
- 1 medium onion. diced
- 1 tablespoons of pickle relish or 1 large pickle finely chopped
- 3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
- 2 tablespoons of vinegar
- 2/3 cup of boiled salad dressing
- 1 ½ teaspoon of salt
Finely chop the onion. Slice or chop the boiled eggs. Add the onion and eggs to a large bowl. Then add the chopped pickle or pickle relish, the vinegar and the drained navy beans. Mix together well and add the salt, pepper and the salad dressing. Mix to combine. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Use mayo or commercial salad dressing if you don’t want to make your own.
Boiled Salad Dressing
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ cup of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- ½ cup of water
- ½ cup of vinegar
- 1 tablespoons of butter
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
Put the ingredients in a sauce pan. Stir well and set over medium heat. Stir constantly until thick. Cool before using. Keep any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator. Use within a couple days.
Other seasonings can be added; ½ teaspoon of dry mustard, ½ teaspoon of paprika, ½ teaspoon of tarragon, horseradish, minced garlic, red pepper, or any other herb or spice that you like.
Any type of bean can be used in this recipe. Fresh beans need to be cooked, canned beans should be drained and rinsed.
Green string beans cut in 1 inch lengths can be used in this salad.
Finely diced celery or other vegetables can be added.
If you don’t have enough beans add some pasta or cooked potatoes.