Adding pasta to the popular three-bean salad combo gives it a contemporary twist. This party-sized pasta salad goes with just about anything else you're serving — grilled vegetables, veggie burgers, tofu or tempeh dishes — it's a most companionable accompaniment.
- ⅓ cup red wine or apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Dijon-style or yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon salt-free seasoning blend (such as Frontier or Mrs. Dash
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 8 ounces pasta, any short shape (try radiatori, orecchiette, or rotelle)
- 2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths,
or thawed frozen cut green beans
- Two 15-ounce cans beans of different kinds, drained and rinsed
(choose from black, pink, pinto, kidney, chickpeas, etc. — or use two cans
"salad beans," which offer a nice mixture of several kinds)
- 2 cups diced ripe tomato
- 1 medium bell pepper, any color, diced
- 1/ 2 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes or black olives
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley or sliced basil
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds, optional
Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk together. Set aside.
Cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly simmering water until just shy of al dente. Plunge the green beans into the water, return to a simmer, and cook just until they're bright green, a minute or so.
Drain the pasta and green beans into a colander; rinse with cold water until they're cool to the touch, then drain well again. Transfer to a large serving bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients to the pasta and green beans mixture, along with the dressing. Toss gently until everything is well combined.
Cover let stand for an hour or so if time allows, then taste to adjust the seasonings, as well as the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, scatter the sunflower seeds atop the salad, if using.