My girlfriend (and awesome cook) Ronda has brought her mother-in-law’s (Joan J) colorful and fabulous bean salad to several potluck gatherings throughout the years. Each time she does, I always go back at least for seconds, if not thirds or fourths. This is a die-for vegan dish, perfect to make year-round since you use canned beans. Not only easy to make, this recipe is extremely versatile. For instance, if you don’t like garbanzo beans (or any of the other varieties), don’t use them and substitute a bean you like. Hate black olives? Use green ones instead or just omit them. Not fond of green peppers? No worries, use more red or yellow peppers, or again, just omit them.
This salad, which serves a crowd, should be made at least a day in advance so the flavors can intensify. The good news is that it does last several days in the fridge. However, I did freeze a small amount to see if that was an option for leftovers and was pleasantly surprised — the pasta was not as firm (but definitely not soggy) as when first made, but other than that the beans and other veggies fared well. Next time I make this I will add the marinade before the pasta, portion out the amount I want to freeze, and then add my preferred ratio of penne to what I plan to eat in the next few days. I do plan to can this later this summer, without the pasta, and will report the results on my FB page.