When I was a kid I did a lot of cooking. I enjoyed coming up with new recipes, and trying them out on my family. One year, when most of my family decided to go vegan, I came up with this salad that everyone really enjoyed, and I have been making it ever since. It is embarrassingly simple (but hey, give me a break, I was eleven) but it has a lot of great flavor. I start by draining and rinsing a can each of chickpeas, red kidney beans, cannellini beans, butter beans, black eyed peas, black beans, and whatever other beans I might happen to have on hand. I toss that together with some chopped red onion, and whatever green herb I have laying around. Here I used a handful each of roughly chopped fresh basil and Italian flat leaf parsley, though cilantro, tarragon, or dill would work equally well. The dressing was originally made by mixing a cup and a half of red wine vinegar, one fourth of a cup of balsamic vinegar, two tablespoons of sugar, a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil, and a packet of Italian dressing seasoning. I no longer use the seasoning packet (though it is perfectly delicious made that way) and instead come up with my own mix of dried herbs and spices, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. This salad lasts for two weeks in the refrigerator, and just gets better and better as it sits. It’s the perfect thing for a picnic in the park, or a summertime barbecue potluck. It really is good, and no one need know that it is so incredibly simple to make. Enjoy!