Two types of beans, red kidney and green beans, are combined with pickled red peppers and fire-roasted jalapeños in this amped-up redux of the time-honored three-bean salad. [Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

We've all had that ubiquitous three-bean salad. You know, the geriatric-style blend of kidney, green, and garbanzo beans. But if I'm being totally honest, there's a definite draw—or at least a reason it has endured for so long. So I set out to update it for this week's series on summer bean salads.

It turns out (big surprise here) that a modern version is exponentially more interesting. I opted for two types of beans: kidney and green. The two beans are joined by the duo of fire-roasted jalapeños and pickled red peppers. The result is something bright and, dare I say, exciting.

The salad is finished with a bracing red wine vinaigrette and a shower of chopped flat-leaf parsley, both important aspects to keep it nuanced and fresh. The ratio is intentionally on the acidic side since the beans soak up a lot of the "bite."

You can substitute half of a four-ounce can of fire-roasted jalapeños to save yourself a step, but I find the flavor of a freshly roasted one is far better. If you're worried about heat, you can remove the seeds and white membrane for milder results. In the event you have trouble locating pickled red peppers (look in the Italian or Polish sections of a well-stocked grocer), soak minced, roasted red peppers in a teaspoon of red wine vinegar for 30 minutes before incorporating them into the recipe.


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