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How Only 4 Ingredients Make A Sensational  Summer Salad



Hello, Mustard Mavens,


Whew!  July’s extreme heat  dampens my desire to cook.   I  eat out of my refrigerator, and especially enjoy nibbling on a hearty salad that stays fresh and tastes delicious with the passing of these hot days.

I don’t ignore my friends because I like keeping up with their stories of vacations and our small town past times.  I  invite friends to linger in the shade of our ancient maple tree for a glass of beer or wine, and a simple Charcuterie Board – cheese, crackers, thin slices of summer sausage and the Sensational Marinated Bean Salad.

I prepare this non-cook recipe many times in the summer months, and I most often open a can of great northern beans grown near Scotts Bluff  in Western Nebraska as the first of the four ingredients.

Nebraska is a major producer of dry edible beans.

Western Nebraska’s semi-arid climate, with warm days and cool nights, provides excellent growing conditions for beans.

Nebraska produces more great northern beans than any other state in the nation, is second in pinto and light red kidney and fourth in black bean production.


In researching the provenance of the great northern bean,  the following story popped up in my reading:

According to Leland W. Hudson (Regional Plant Introduction Station, Washington State University), the 1935  seed catalog of the Oscar W. Will and Company in Bismarck, N.D., reported that the seed of the great northern bean was originally obtained by Oscar H. Will in 1887 from Son of Star, a Hidatsa Native American whose tribe had grown it for millennial.

Now when I buy great northern beans at the grocery, whether canned or dry, I ponder: A very strong possibility exists that they were traded and grown by tribal farmers in Nebraska-Native Americans being the first farmers in Nebraska.  They also built the stately earth lodges on the plateaus of western Nebraska.  See an earth lodge at the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument, Kearney, NE.

The Hidatsa people, a North Dakota  tribe propagated the first great northern bean and probably traded the seed across the Americas.

See the simple and nourishing and delicious recipe for Sensational Marinated Bean Summer Salad below:


Simple and Sensational Marinated Bean Summer Salad

What You'll Need:

Marinated Bean Salad

  • 1 medium shallot or 3 or 4 green onions dice and include green stems of the onion
  • 1 cup tender herbs – mint, parsley, cilantro, chives and/or dill
    chop into a fine dice -approximately 1/2 cup
  • 2 15 oz. cans great northern beans and red beans or substitute navy beans, cannellini beans or garbanzo beans

    rinse the beans
  • 1 tsp. salt

Sensational Salad Dressing

  • 2 Tb. Spicy Beer Mustard
  • ¼ cup white vine vinegar or rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup Canola Oil or Olive Oil

How To Prepare:

  • Combine the shallot, herbs, salt and beans in a non corrosive bowl
  • In an emulsifier/blender/food processor combine the Spicy beer Mustard, salt and vinegar
  • Slowly stream in the oil until the mixture forms an emulsion
  • Pour 4 Tb. of dressing into the bean mixture and gently stir, taste and adjust seasonings and amount of dressing
  • Caution: too much dressing and salad may be soggy
  • Cover and refrigerate up to 8 days


Marinated Bean Salad
Rinse the beans
Dressing for the Beans
2 Tablespoons of Buzz Savories Spicy Beer Mustard
Pour the Spicy Beer Mustard and vinegar into the food processor or blender¼ cup white wine or rice vinegar
¾ cup canola oil or olive oil
½ tsp. salt
Combine and mix the vinegar and the Spicy Beer Mustard
In your food process or blender, pour a thin stream of oil into the blender to form an emulsion
Combine the beans, tender herbs, salt into an enamel or glass bowl then drizzle approximately 3 Tablespoons of Spicy Beer Mustard Dressing over the beans, taste and add more dressing if desired.   
Serve chilled or at room temperature. 
I guess I’m cooking when I prepare the Simple, Sensational Bean Salad.  I like thinking of a quote from Ruth Reichl in her book Save Me the Plums:  My Gourmet Memoir


My experience tells me that the 1/2 cup of finely minced tender herbs sets this recipe above all the others because fresh herbs add crunch and the benefit of a flavor that cannot be measured nor described. Use all of the suggested tender herbs or if only one is available to you, use it.  Parsley works fine.  I like the addition of mint, but once again, not a requirement.

And returning to Why do we Cook query and especially in summer,   I guess I’m cooking when I prepare the Simple, Sensational Bean Salad although I’m mainly opening cans and chopping cold vegetables. Anyway the tasks feel easy, and I stay cool.

I like thinking of a quote from Ruth Reichl in her book Save Me the Plums:  My Gourmet Memoir .  She tackles the perennial question for us living in the “Hello Fresh” and Uber delivery world, “Why we cook?  with “Cooking and serving food is one way I offer thanks.”

I add, several more thoughts,- a way I connect with friends is eating or munching on Charcuterie together.

Cooking fills a space in me for the art of it, for the fun of it, and for the flavors and alluring smells that drift from  a recipe that calls for fresh herbs and a Spicy Beer Mustard Dressing.


Buy your Spicy Beer Mustard at the outlets listed on this site and   Search for Spicy Beer Mustard – 6 pack or Spicy Beer Mustard – 2 pack.

While here on the Buzz Savories site, please register for the newsletter.  See Contact Page. I like hearing from you and learning about the topics that interest you and the recipes you are inventing and trying.  I write recipes and mustard commentary 2 x month.


With gratitude for you and our abundance food,  Betty A.




Thank you John Best for the stunning and masterful photo of Spicy Beer Mustard with a brat.  I am recalling why I developed Spicy Beer Mustard – to serve as a spread with brats, hot dogs, hamburgers, with summer sausage and on a Charcuterie Board, and now I’m finding that I like it in dips, sauces, glazes and dressings.  John Best reinvented himself at retirement into a professional photographer and is now the photographer for the Shrine Games. Contact him at the following email address:  [email protected]