I never used to be a Five-Bean Salad fan. Don't get me wrong. I like beans and I'm always down for a make-ahead salad. It just seemed like every recipe I tried was... meh. Well, those days are over because this version has all the things. It's spicy and tangy and fresh and creamy and crunchy and, of course, SUPER easy. Plus, it keeps well in the fridge for several days, making it an excellent option for a potluck or for your weekly desk lunch prep.
My favorite spice blend to use in this salad is my Five-Chile Harissa because it has a super complex flavor profile with just enough heat to make your taste buds tingle. Other great options are my Cajun Spice Blend if you're looking to up the spice factor or my Spanish Sunset Spice Blend if spice isn't your thing but you still want a lot of flavor. I've also used preserved lemon here because I love the salty pop of lemon, but if you don't have any you can substitute fresh lemon zest.
Alright, alright. Enough babbling. Grab your can opener, and let's get cooking!
Fabulous Five-Bean Salad
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
1 (14.5-ounce) can red kidney beans
1 (14.5-ounce) can pinto beans
1 (14.5-ounce) can cannellini or great northern beans
1 (14.5-ounce) can garbanzo beans
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced preserved lemon peel
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar (apple cider vinegar works if you can't find sherry vinegar)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Five-Chile Harissa Spice Blend
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (chopped almonds are great if you prefer)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the trimmed green beans and cook 3 minutes, just until they turn bright green. Transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
Drain and rinse all four cans of beans. You can do this in a single colander.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, preserved lemon, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and Five-Chile Harissa Spice Blend. Add the celery, bean mixture, green beans, sunflower seeds, and parsley. Toss to coat. Taste and season to taste with additional Five-Chile Harissa and/or kosher salt. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.