I remember we grew beans when I was a child; we had a small wild field of black-eyed peas next to our house.
One of my favourite memories from childhood is of harvest time when my siblings and I were let loose to pick beans.
After several of our crops had failed, my dad grew the beans for its drought tolerance and the nitrogen it releases, which is good for the soil.
I’ve loved and eaten beans all my life and added to few varieties to my repertoire as I’ve discovered them.
I didn’t really give chickpeas much regard until I was an adult, and now, it’s my favourite beans.
My little pantry constantly has an assortment of beans, mostly leftovers from other recipes – usually not enough to make a whole meal, but put them all together and you get something like this four bean salad with farro.
I must admit, the farro was an afterthought, orphaned from a farro and lentil salad I’d made.
Farro is new to me, I had it for the first time last April in New York, I was so enamoured with it I came home, bought a giant bag and made everything farro; from soups to porridge. Cooking farro was a little tricky for me until I found this guide. It was always a little too tough.
Although farro isn’t prominent in this salad, it still has a bit of chew and nuttiness.
I use chickpeas, black beans, pinto and white beans in this salad, feel free to use whatever kind you have if you decide to make this salad; make a three-bean salad or a five-bean salad… And if you have problems with digesting beans, soak them overnight to help reduce its gas-causing sugars.
The salad itself is very easy to put together once you get your beans, canned is fine too. I used my favourite vegetables – onions, celery, peppers and sundried tomatoes, it’s a simple and flavourful salad, and let’s not forget nutritious.
The dressing is light yet peppy from the mustard, cumin and cayenne pepper.
This to me is comfort food, great for lunch or dinner; effortless, delightful and filling.
Four Bean Salad
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup cooked black beans
- 1 cup cooked white beans
- 1 cup cooked pinto beans
- 1 cup cooked Farro
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks/ribs, chopped
- 2 Anaheim peppers, chopped (jalapeno or bell peppers would work too)
- 3 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more for a bit more heat)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, (more for garnish)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Salt & pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, combine beans, farro, onions, celery, peppers and sun-dried tomatoes and mix
- In a smaller bowl or jar, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and mustard
- Add the cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and pepper, and whisk to emulsify
- Add the dressing to the beans; add salt to taste and mix gently
- Add freshly ground black pepper to taste and serve