My mom’s bean salad was a staple for all of our futures picnics back in the day when we first opened. I still have her notebook on how many cans she needed per fifty guests, when she needed to have it delivered, and by what company and their phone numbers listed. All written in her artistic penmanship … with little changes here and there over the years in different shades of blue ink. Never fear! I’m not going to be giving you the fifty-person salad recipe … my mother always had a print-out of the salad tucked in folders near the tasting room, so we could give folks the recipe for a ‘normal’ bowl of bean salad. I was so happy to discover that she had kept the original ‘small’ recipe tucked into the pages of the notebook.
This is a salad that can be made the day before and actually tastes better since the flavors have settled within the salad; I usually add the tomatoes the day of serving just so they don’t fall apart with the vinegar and salt. Make sure you rinse the beans in really cool water, since beans hold heat and you don’t want to encourage anything to grow. It’s also okay if you find cans that aren’t exactly 15 oz. this is supposed to be an easy recipe and cause the minimum of stress during preparation for a big event.
To give the salad a more ‘smoky’ taste I sometimes slightly burn the skins of the tomatoes and red pepper over the gas burners on my stovetop before I begin chopping them up. If you want it spicy keep the jalapeño seeds in the pepper when you dice it up. One of the things I love about this salad is how pretty it looks when it’s finished.
Mom's Futures Picnic Bean Salad