Aunt Nancy’s Sweet Veggie Salad

March 23rd, 2011

Do you remember the days when extended families lived in the same town and family get togethers included aunts and uncles and myriads of cousins?  I do.  I grew up that way and so did my husband.  He grew up in a small farm community called Keeler.  His Grandparents lived in a big stone house and their 4 children and their families lived within shouting distance in houses scattered amongst the orchards and dirt roads that bisected  the community.  The whole family was involved in both farming the cherry orchards and a road construction business.

Needless to say, family get togethers had to serve up to 20 people.  And as it was in my family, each aunt had a specialty.  I was going through my recipes the other day and found this recipe that David’s cousin Kathie gave me for her Mom’s sweet veggie salad.  Since my family is visiting I thought it was appropriate to make it.  Sometimes I miss the way things were when we were young and families were not scattered in far away places.

My Brother is visiting from Michigan.  Here we are with his Son Paul and his Grandson Seth. 

This old fashioned version of Three Bean Salad makes a great addition to any family meal.


Double for 20-30 people

Dressing;  Heat to dissolve sugar, then cool
1/2 cup Canola or olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup wine vinegar (apple is ok)
Salt and pepper

Drain and put in bowl
2 cans cut green beans
1 can shoepeg corn
1 can garbonzo beans
1 can sliced carrots
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can kidney beans, rinsed

Dice and add
3 ribs celery
1 small onion
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper

Pour cooked dressing over veggies, toss and refrigerate 4 to 24 hours.

Printable recipe

14 responses to “Aunt Nancy’s Sweet Veggie Salad”

  1. Rita says:

    Yes I remember those good old days. When my 4 sons and families come to visit, we have to add quite a few chairs around the table. We all love bean salad and this recipe is right up my alley; thanks.

  2. Big Dude says:

    Looks like a great warm weather meal Penny

  3. Clip: Will love to make Nancy’s salad as much as I loved Nancy! Besides, its probably one of those things that MY aunt made when we were twenty at dinner in the diversified (and sustainable?) fields of Keeler.
    T’anks, Penny!

  4. I remember when our Aunt, Uncle and cousins would come to our lake for the 4th of July week.

    Love bean salad! This one sounds great.

  5. A few more observations: Penny, you are looking very svelte there. The diet was either unnecessary or it worked; I have about sixteen of those bowls. Are they the ones with different chefs painted on the bottom? Hmm, forgot the one that would have made that ‘few’ rather than a ‘couple’.

  6. Oh yes, I remember those wonderfully delicious days! My mother was from a large family all living in the same southern city. Dinners, reunions, etc. were amazing. From Aunt Lizzy’s fried chicken to Aunt Emma’s chocolate cake and every other dish in between, the gatherings were gastronomic events. My husband, on the other hand, grew up in a home that had a number of live-in “helpers”. The cook did all the dishes. When guests came to dinner, they didn’t bring food. He has had a hard time (25 + years) adjusting to potlucks!! Thanks for the memories!


  7. racheld says:

    My Mother got this recipe “under the hairdryer” and I remember the first time she made it for a family gathering. I opened her fridge, and there were three quart jars of the glistening salad—with “English” peas (LeSueur) in place of the black beans. It was just so pretty in the light, and tasted good, as well.

    Don’t you just LOVE setting a table for twenty?

  8. Lyla says:

    My absolute favorite kind of salad! Thanks to you and your extended family for what is bound to become one of our favorite family recipes. Speaking of which–how heartwarming it is to see the picture of you and “Billy.” Your smile and his say it all.

  9. Barbara says:

    I grew up in Michigan exactly like that Penny. Our family all lived in the same town, with few exceptions. Things are sure different now!

    Love the old bean salads…this one is different ’cause it has corn. Going to add that to my mother’s recipe next time I make it!

  10. Donnie says:

    We had an Aunt who made something similar and brought to every family reunion. Yummy.

  11. Kate says:

    I love vegetable salads! They are so tasty. This looks great.

  12. My mom always reminisces about growing up in England and surrounded by her family. They emmigrated to Canada with no family around so that is what I thought as normal. I envy those who are able to have big family reunions!

  13. bhdancegirl says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. bhdancegirl says:

    I am recovering from a stomach virus and haven’t eaten “real” food for days. It is also snowing here in New England. This beautiful, colorful salad looks and sounds so appealing and holds the promise of better days ahead. I can’t wait until “all systems are go”, so to speak, and I can prepare it.

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.