Five-Bean Picnic Salad

Chef Richard 12 Servings 1 hour

If you’re going to buy and chop up all the vegetables for this salad, you might as well make a big batch that will last you a few days.  This colorful, incredibly satisfying combination keeps well and makes for a terrific side dish to just about anything you care to sauté, fry, or grill.  And because this salad feeds a crowd, it’s perfect for picnics and backyard barbecues.


  • ½ pound green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ½ pound yellow wax or romano beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 pound fresh shelled field peas, such as limas, black-eyed peas, or purple hull beans (or 2 cups canned or frozen beans, prepared accordingly)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can red beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup Crystal or Louisiana brand hot sauce, or other hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1½ cups)
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped (¾)
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped (1 cup)


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the water is near to boiling, fill a large bowl with ice water.  Blanch the green beans, yellow wax beans, and field peas, one bean variety at a time, in the boiling water for 3-4 minutes and transfer them to the ice water to shock.  Be sure to let the water return to a rolling boil before dropping in each batch. (Putting a lid on the pot will speed up this process, but leave it off when cooking the beans.)  Drain and dry the beans, and place them in a large bowl with the drained red beans and chickpeas.
  • Place the sugar and vinegar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 7 minutes, then add the hot sauce and cook 2 more minutes.  Remove from the heat, whisk in the salt and garlic, and pour over the beans.  Add the olive oil and toss thoroughly.  Add the remaining vegetables and toss again.  Adjust the seasoning to taste.