Summer – the season of cold foods and salads! In the heat of summer, we need the refreshing coolness of fruits and vegetables. Oh, you know I like the grill and the smoker, but I also love the cool foods of summer.

My family’s favorite has to be one of the simplest summer salads you can make, a bean salad. It is very flexible, is open to almost any interpretation, and can be a meal unto itself.  You could cook all the beans from scratch but why? Unless you have some put up from last year, store bought canned will work just fine though I suspect home canned would be that much better!

Cowboy Caviar

15.5 oz (439 g) can drained and rinsed Red Kidney beans
15.5 oz (439 g) can drained and rinsed Garbanzo beans (also known as Ceci or chickpeas)
15.5 oz (439 g)can drained and rinsed Black Beans
15.5 oz (439 g) can  drained and rinsed White beans
11 oz (312 g) can drained Corn with chili’s
Red onion diced
Celery Diced
Sweet pickle chips – chopped
1 handful minced Cilantro (or to taste (optional))
Salt to taste
1/4 – 1/2 cup (60-125 ml) Italian salad dressing – or make your own oil and vinegar based dressing


  1. Put diced celery and onion into a large bowl
  2. Add chopped sweet pickles
  3. Open and drain rinse all the beans, add to bowl
  4. Just drain the corn, no need to rinse it – add to bowl
  5. Add the minced cilantro and gently fold to combine. 
  6. Add the dressing and combine again
  7. You may serve immediately or chill it before serving. 

    It will keep 3-4 days. This is great picnic / BBQ fare. Feel free to add minced garlic, hominy, chopped sweet peppers, diced cucumber or ….?

    Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging!