Now that Spring is here it’s time for get-togethers, back yard barbecues and picnics. It seems that there’s always something that needs to be thrown together to bring for everyone to enjoy.

I absolutely love bean salad. The texture of beans and the zestiness of the sauce are a perfect combination. There is just something so refreshing about a cold bean salad on a warm Spring afternoon.

Spring Bean Salad

2 cans green beans

1 can garbanzo beans

1 can black beans

1 can kidney beans

2 cans corn

1/2 red onion, diced

4 colored peppers (any combination of green, red, yellow, orange)

1 cup olive oil

1 cup white vinegar

4 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper

Pour all the beans into a colander and rinse until the water coming out of the bottom of the colander is clear and then set aside. Open the corn and drain. Toss the beans into a large bowl along with the corn and diced onion. Dice up the combination of peppers and then toss in the bowl with the beans.

Pour the olive oil, vinegar, sugar and mustard into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, slowly whisking the whole time. Once the sauce reaches a boil, turn off immediately. Now pour the sauce over the bowl of beans and peppers. Mix the sauce into the beans until everything is coated. Refrigerate. Serve cold.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of the University of Montana, animal lover and writer.