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Asian-Style Three-Bean Salad
A summer side gets a makeover. Rene Comet / USA WEEKEND Food styling /Lisa Cherkasky.

There’s good reason three bean salad has become an American summer classic: It’s quick and simple to prepare; it keeps well in the refrigerator, so it can be at the ready in a moment’s notice; it holds up well, so it won’t wilt at a picnic or cookout; and its punchy, sweet-tangy flavor pairs perfectly with favorites like burgers, sandwiches and grilled chicken.

This recipe takes the typical dish to another level. aking the most of the season’s bounty of produce, it calls for steaming fresh green beans until just crisp-tender, rather than using the limper canned version. It also boasts an exciting Asian flair with protein-rich edamame as one of the beans in the trio, and a sweet-tart dressing that gets its primary sweetness from apricot all-fruit preserves instead of the refined sugar in the usual recipe.

The result is a dish that is familiar and just as versatile as the classic, yet with a refreshing new perspective. It is sure to become your new summer favorite.

Sweet-Tart Asian-Style Three Bean Salad

• 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
• One 10-ounce bag frozen shelled edamame
• 3 Tbs. canola oil
• 3 Tbs. rice vinegar
• ¼ cup 100%-fruit apricot preserves
• 1 Tb. sugar
• 1 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger
• One 15-ounce can black beans, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
• 2 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
• Salt to taste

Put the green beans and frozen edamame in a steamer basket over several inches of boiling water and steam them for 4 minutes. Drain well, then transfer the beans to a large bowl and put them in the refrigerator to cool for 15 minutes or longer.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, apricot preserves, sugar and ginger.
Add the black beans and scallions to the green beans and edamame, drizzle with the dressing, and toss to coat. Season with salt, and serve at room temperature or chilled. This salad will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 3 days.

Yield: 8 servings

Per serving (¾ cup): 180 calories, 25g carbohydrates, 7g protein, 7g fat (0g saturated), 6g fiber, 0mg cholesterol, 72mg sodium

Recipe reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Taunton Press Inc., from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life,by Ellie Krieger. Copyright by Ellie Krieger.

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Ellie Krieger is host of the The Food Network’s hit show “Healthy Appetite,” which airs on The Cooking Channel. The author of three cookbooks, her latest is Comfort Food Fix: Feel Good Favorites Made Healthy. A registered dietitian, Ellie has helped out with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign and has teamed up with New York City SchoolFood initiative, where she created healthy, delicious menu items for students citywide.