Three Bean Salad

1 cup each of dried organic black, red, and white beans
1 large organic onion, diced
3/4 cup of diced celery
a large handful of organic italian parsley, chopped
1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
1/3 – 1/2 cup of Sierra oil
1 teaspoon of cumin, coriander, and thyme
sea salt to taste

Put each of the three kinds of beans in a separate pot. Add four cups of water and a teaspoon of sea salt to each one. Put the coriander into the black beans’ water, cumin in the red beans’ water, and thyme in the white beans’ water. Add half a teaspoon of baking soda to each pot, and stir thoroughly. Bring all the beans to boil, keeping in mind that they will foam a bit once they come to boil (due to the baking soda) so be prepared to lower the heat as soon as they begin to foam. Boil each one for two minutes, and turn off the fire. Leave them all to soak overnight.

The following day, bring each pot to boil (beware of the foam). Boil gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the beans are still hard, cook them for a few more minutes. Once all of them are soft, turn off the fire and let them cool to room temperature. While the beans are cooling down, prepare the onion, celery, and parsley. When they reach room temperature, drain the beans in a colander and combine them in a large bowl. Add the onions, celery, and parsley, and mix gently. Then add the vinegar and some salt. Stir gently but very thoroughly for a minute. Taste the mixture, and adjust the salt and vinegar.

(Recommendation: add slightly more vinegar than you would like, since the beans will continue to absorb it.) Let the bean salad rest for some time, stirring occasionally. Add the Sierra oil, and mix again. Taste the salad, and do any desired adjustments. It can be served either chilled or at room temperature, but it should be stored in the refrigerator. Don’t worry about leftovers, since the salad is better the next day. The leftovers will probably need some more vinegar, so be sure to have some on hand.

This recipe is open to variation. The spices at the beginning have a great effect on the end product, and can be changed to suit your tastes. For example, white beans go very well with sage and tarragon, red beans are also nice with fennel and oregano, and black beans pair well with cilantro and bay leaf. Feel free to experiment!