Fathers Day Fiesta

Fresh Fiesta Bean Salad

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Happy Fathers Day!!! The perfect excuse for beefy barbecues, stunning side dishes, and waves of father fondness!  My dad introduced me to many things, including that little rhyme about beans and your heart, so I figured, what could be more appropriate than espousing some fatherly flatulence with this legume-filled salad?

Dad K & C beach
Family trip to Fire Island — that’s me hamming in my Arnold Schwarzenegger pose

My dad is pretty swell, and there are certain things that forcibly remind me of him:  the sound of a knife cutting a ripe peach, the song “Jessica” by the Allman Brothers Band, and any shoe with proper arch support.  Though I’m not home for Fathers Day this year, today is still full of happy childhood memories of family trips and solid fatherly advice.  The constant reassurances of “you’re on a good path,” have been my best friend throughout this dental school journey.  So, here’s a shout-out to the man who is always right about everything, who can diagnose anything (despite never having attended medical school), who can pack a car more efficiently than anyone else (four years of college moving proved that!), and who can lift things thought humanly impossible!  I love you, Dad! ❤
That concludes this PSA — Paternal Service Announcement — and now, back to your regularly scheduled recipe:
This salad is super quick (minus the whole “chill overnight” edict) and full of fresh, summery flavor.  You really can’t go wrong here.  I recommend starting out with this basic recipe and adjusting as desired to suit your tastes!  Add grilled chicken or shrimp for a heartier option.  Sub-in different types of peppers, or use grilled corn fresh-off-the-cobb, or go crazy and toss in some chopped avocado.  Garbanzos are fun too if you don’t like lima beans; for whatever reason, many people seem to possess a moral opposition to lima beans…really though, give (lima) beans a chance!
My only disclaimer is to make sure you use a REALLY big bowl — you need enough room for thorough tossing action, without flinging half of your salad on the floor.  Glass is best, since plastic tends to acquire a gross, oily film and absorb the vinegar for an indefinite number of wash-cycles.

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Fresh Fiesta Bean Salad

3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons stone-ground dijon mustard
1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped mixed herbs (parsley, dill, chives, mint, whatever you have!)
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn, thawed and drained
1 cup frozen lima beans, thawed and drained
1 can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
3 cubanelle peppers, cored and diced
5 radishes, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped kale
3 roma tomatoes
Feta cheese, for sprinkling
In a (REALLY) large glass bowl, whisk together garlic, onion, mustard, vinegar, OJ, olive oil, herbs, and salt & pepper.  Add corn, both beans, peppers, radishes, kale, and tomatoes.  Toss to thoroughly coat vegetables with vinaigrette.  Let salad marinate in fridge overnight.  Prior to serving, thoroughly toss salad again and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.

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