I cannot believe that the 4 of July is actually 4 days away. Well, really, it’s 3 days away because our community is celebrating the 4th of July on the 3rd of July which is Saturday rather than the 4th of July which falls on a Sunday. Don’t ask me why.
Are you confused?
Welcome to my life.
Well , what I do know for sure is that it’s this weekend and that it’s just too soon.
Time just flies and I want to slow it down. But no matter how hard I try, it just seems to keep on marching along.
You see the 4th of July is a BIG DEAL here in suburbia. Friends and relatives, classmates and graduates, the old and the young, you name it, they all come home to celebrate the 4th of July here in our community. Every 4th of July or 3rd of July this year, the festivities begin with the traditional 6:30 a.m. bull horn wake up call that our Civic Association so dutifully carries out assigned by those that choose to pay for the experience. People set up their lawn chairs and rope off areas with signs to save their space on the parade route a week before the parade actually takes place.
I’m serious. It’s a sight to behold.
The red, white and blue stars that decorate the center of the streets are repainted diligently every… single… year.
After the parade, the entire community and all of those relatives, classmates, graduates etc. spend the day celebrating at the park with games, bicycle rides, food and reunions. This carries on until the other local park opens its’ doors for the evenings festivities. There are huge round tables covered in white tablecloths for friends and family to gather around and enjoy dinner and refreshments. There is a table centerpiece contest for those who choose to join in. And did I mention a band? Yes, there is also a band for your listening enjoyment until dusk when the attention turns to the skies for the fabulous fireworks display. Once again, this is all thanks to our fine UA Civic Association.
As I said before, the 4th of July is a very big deal.
Equally as important is the food.
Everyone feasts on fabulous fare all day long and while it’s not spoken out loud, the food that one prepares and shares is VERY IMPORTANT.
So this year I’ve decided to blow everyone away with my “Red, White & Black Bean” salad. I mean what could possibly be more all American than beans? Especially when pared with vegetables and fresh herbs? Not to mention beans are packed with protein and who doesn’t need an energy boost on a marathon day like the 4th of July?
Here’s the deal.
It’s easy as pie.
Don’t tell anyone though. Just proudly carry you salad into your celebration on your hip as your personal sacrifice to your country and assure your fans that they were indeed worth all of the trouble.
These are the simple and patriotic ingredients.
Black beans, cannellini beans, Roma tomatoes, green onions, red pepper, salsa, red wine vinegar and fresh cilantro.
The first thing that you want to do is drain and rinse the beans.
A bean bath if you will.
Next rinse the veggies and cilantro and get ready to chop.
Dice the red peppers.
Slice the green onions.
Look how pretty it’s looking all ready.
Dice the tomatoes.
Now chop the fresh cilantro.
Heavens does this smell like summer.
Put all of the ingredients in a big bowl.
Have you ever seen anything so lovely and all American?
Next the dressing.
We must dress the salad. Especially on the 4th of July.
Pour the red wine vinegar into the salsa and add a generous pinch of salt & pepper and mix.
Then pour the dressing all over the beans & veggies.
Gently toss and get ready to have a delightfully patriotic 4th (or 3rd in my case) of July.
I mean who can celebrate the 4th of July without a Red, White & Black Bean salad?
And all of suburbia, that’s who.
Have a safe and delightful 4th of July!
Here’s the printable recipe:
Red White & Black Bean Salad
Adapted from Southern Living Cookbook
(Makes 6 servings)
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans rinsed & drained
- 1 (15 ounce-can) black beans rinsed & drained
- 3 Roma tomatoes
- 1 red pepper
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Pinch of salt & pepper
Combine all vegetables and cilantro in a big bowl.
Mix salsa, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper and pour over vegetables.
Gently toss & enjoy!