BXG Blog

Vegan Two-Bean Picnic Caviar

This bean salad is based on the original from Vegetarian Times, but we’ve fiddled with it enough to merit a separate recipe. If you have the time to make fresh beans, this salad is amazing, but it’s still tasty with canned beans.



  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup canola or neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil


  • 2/3 cup dried black beans (or 1 15-oz can)
  • 2/3 cup dried great northern bean (or 1 15-oz can)
  • 1.5 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 3-4 New Mexico green chiles
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


If you have time, use dry beans and pressure cook them (25 minutes for unsoaked black beans, 30 minutes for great northern beans). Since you have to chop the other veggies, this actually doesn’t add much to the total prep time. If you don’t have time (or don’t have a pressure cooker), just use canned beans. If you use cans, drain and rinse the beans before adding to the salad.

While the beans are cooking, chop the bell pepper and chiles into pieces that are similar in size to the beans. Chop the onions a little smaller than the beans. You want the main texture in the end result to come from the beans and peppers.

Once your beans are ready, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl.

Stir in the beans and other ingredients. Season with a hint of salt and pepper if desired. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving, but 3-4 hours is even better. While the salad is in the fridge, stir it up occasionally so that the dressing coats all of the other ingredients.