Two Bean Salad

Whenever I go to any gathering where food is involved, I usually get really excited for the sides. I am a side dish girl and could eat just the side dishes on any given meal and be happy. Fresh string beans are plentiful here in Virginia and just begging to be enjoyed. Recently while at a roadside vegetable stand with my parents, they bought a mess of beans to cook up. She must have made Dad happy with them because she had instructions to go back and get a bigger mess of them. 

I just love the summertime and all the fresh fruits and vegetables. My garden is thriving with all the rain we have had recently. I really do think that my tomato plants grew a foot overnight this week. We have lots of babies and I am just patiently waiting for them to turn red. We don't have a huge garden, just a few boxes we plant in. In our yard, we have nothing but hills, so the boxes keep the plants from washing away in the rain. 

Now if I can just keep the squirrels away from these babies. Last year I kept catching them munching on my tomatoes, especially the cherry tomatoes. At my parents house they are a little sneaky. They like to eat up Mom's tomatoes and leave half eaten ones along her deck railing to taunt her. It drives her crazy. She doesn't like them too much. Silly little critters. 

This two bean salad is certainly a colorful dish. The tartness of the lemon gives it just the right zing that it needs. Super simple to throw together when you are heading out the door to your next potluck. So this year for the 4th of July, skip the normal potato salad and such and whip this up. I bet you won't bring any back home. 

Two Bean Salad

2 cups green beans
2 (15 to 19 oz.) cans cannellini beans, rinsed
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, diced finely ( I used a shallot)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
Salt and pepper

Cut green beans into 1-inch lengths and cook in a saucepan of salted water, about 4 to 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water; dry on paper towels. In a large bowl, toss together all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Let stand at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours before serving at room temperature.

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