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purple bean salad

This weekend we went tall ship hunting in Frankfort. Unfortunately the ship in our sites, the Norwegian vessel Draken Harald Harfagre had already set sail for Chicago. The Frankfort farmers market was already well underway so we went through. There were delights that made me yearn for a garden of my own. We found emu steaks, a supplier of sides of beef, and some wonderful veggies including the purple pole beans, german garlic, russian garlic, and some gorgeous red onions.

German garlic is little used in culinary practices. It is sharp with a hot tang, perfect for dishes when you want something strong. The farmer said that the Russian was sweet and mild. I used the German garlic for a pickling dressing on some trimmed pole beans. (More on that later) and wanted it to punch up my raw purple bean salad.

The purple color is only skin deep so the best way to preserve the color for serving is in a salad or as pickles. The salad has a strong dressing to punch everything up a bit. Which might be the most German thing about the dressing.


  • purple pole beans, cut into 1 cm pieces
  • tomatoes diced
  • 1/4 red onion sliced thin
  • 2 balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove German garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 Riesling
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

First mix the Riesling and vinegar in a canning jar, with the garlic to soak a bit. Then add in sugar, pepper and olive oil. Screw on the lid and shake well.

Dice the purple beans into small pieces, about a centimeter. The raw beans should be on the small size so that the flavor snaps, the bean is still juicy and the interior seed isn’t tough or bitter. Toss in a bowl, add remaining veggies, coat with dressing and serve.


I garnished ours with a bit of fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

This is refreshing on a hot and steamy Summer day. And it looks like this is going to be a hot and steamy Summer so lots of days for enjoying these kinds of treats!